Newsletter 28.06.15

Irrigation - thanks to RX Plastics
While the lower North Island is under water and mud, the rest of the Country is still in drought mode. Tony Davoren of HydroServices says most soil deficits are a major concern, and a lot of rain between now and spring is needed. He doesn't think snow is a great help as it provides just 25 percent of a similar rain fall. 

There’s major concern about a severe lack of growth when spring and warm weather does come due to the lack of soil moisture in many parts of the country. In many cases along the East coast there isn’t enough soil moisture to allow any regrowth. Tony Davoren says it will take regular rainfalls to turn the east coast around, but the similar climate to what we had this year is being forecastfor next season. 

Good news for farmers in the Waiarapa; the go ahead for an irrigation scheme has granted and a chunk of money has been allocated to kick start it. Farmers in the region are now needing to work out their budgets, and irrigation needs which will be a strange thing to be doing when part of their region is still under water.
See the full interview here

Community
Drought hit North Canterbury farmers are being helped by a Christchurch city businessman. Grant Sylvester realised how bad the drought and lack of supplementary feeds were in that area and has organised truckloads of hay, silage and grain to go to the aid of those in need. Grant says while some other farmers are giving a lot of hay or silage, some are only giving a few, but when it is all added together it becomes a lot. Grant says farmers were a huge help during the earthquakes when they turned up to help so this is a small way of saying thank you.
See the full interview here

If you want to help, check out the Canterbury Drought Assist Facebook page

Livestock - Te Mania Bull Sales
This season’s bull sales have gone well with good demand for good cattle. Anthony Cox from Rural Livestock says there’s a lot of confidence coming back into the beef industry and after years of hard times, only the top performers have survived culling so it bodes well for the future.
See the interview with Anthony here

Te Mania has become a glowing example of the younger generationsuccessfully taking over from the previous two generations. Will Wilding has taken over the role of stock manager for the property and hosted his first bull sale this month. He says his first year in the saddle has been tough with severe drought conditions and although there was feed on the hill country for the cows, the springs dried up leaving the cattle with no water so they had to be brought down onto the flat where there was water, but no feed to speak of.
See the interview with Will here

However despite the tough conditions, Te Mania had a good sale averaging $7,400.00 for their catalogue of 120 bulls. 
See the interview with Graham Sidey here

Community
80 percent of food production across the world is done by women. That startling number obviously includes under developed countries, but it has raised the question "Should more women hold higher positions within the industry across the globe?"  

New Zealand’s record of being a great place to have children has dropped from 4th to 17th  against other countries around the world. The reason according to Kerry Maw from Rural Women NZ is that the changing times, more pressure on Mothers having to work and other countries becoming a better place to “be a Mum” She says her organisation is working hard on several areas to ensure rural women can have better resources and that their voices are heard.

Women who wish to have a major input into farming and the farming industry simply need to contact Rural Women NZ if they want to be trained in leadership skills. The organisation has a solid base in leadership, and although many of their members don’t want to climb corporate ladders, there are facilities for those who do.
See the full interview here

Topic

JOSEPH JOHNSON / Fairfax NZ