Meat & Livestock News

Preparation is Key: East Coast Farmers Warned of Potential Drought

Farmers along the east coast of New Zealand are being advised to brace themselves for a potential severe drought this summer. Chris Brandolino, the principal scientist at NIWA, has highlighted emerging weather patterns that suggest an early onset of El Nino. Typically, dry conditions in the region commence in November. However, it’s anticipated to begin this year as early as October.

Regions such as Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti, and the South Island’s east coast are already witnessing the onset of dryness. This is particularly concerning for areas like Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti, which are still recovering from the damages caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

In response to NIWA’s predictions, major stakeholders in the primary sector are taking proactive measures. Beef+Lamb NZ, for instance, has organised a series of webinars every Monday evening. These sessions, featuring guest presenters, focus on strategies to maintain farm profitability during drought conditions and address other farming challenges.

The organisation collaborates with other primary sector entities to ensure consistent communication and prevent overlapping efforts.

Rural organisations are diligently assessing the needs of the rural community, especially considering the challenges they might face in the upcoming months. A significant aspect of this assessment involves monitoring the well-being of individuals, especially those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

While weather-related challenges like droughts and floods are beyond control, farmers are encouraged to plan and prepare. Being forewarned allows them to be better equipped to handle such adversities.