Drought conditions in the South have eased in some places but challenges remain | Issue 177

May 5, 2022

Last month DINZ eNews reported on the drought hitting farmers in Southland and Otago (link here).  Since then rainfall has eased the conditions across many parts of Southland, but Otago is still experiencing drier than usual conditions. 

New Zealand Drought Index:


Many farmers will still face challenges in terms of pasture or crop growth before winter and adequate stocks of supplemental feed over winter. This was clearly evident in a recent winter grazing field day at two Otago properties where winter crop yields were estimated to be half of what would normally be expected.

Ongoing delays in getting stock off to the works add to the challenge.

Bruce Allan, Chair of Southland DFA, notes that rainfall has been adequate over the last month and there is a small window in May for growth that will allow for a road to recovery. Feed however is very expensive and in his own experience this has been the first time in 25 years that he has had to feed out in autumn. 

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