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Updated Dry Conditions Guide Available From Meat & Wool New Zealand

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Being prepared to act early will make a difference to farmers managing their way through the dry conditions facing many parts of the country, Meat & Wool New Zealand's General Manager, Farm Services, Richard Wakelin says.

"Making decisions and setting dates to implement them is important and every farmer should have at least an informal response plan in their heads."

Meat & Wool New Zealand has drawn up a quick check list, compiled from their Extreme Dry Management and Planning Toolkit and information from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. It summarises the most important farm management and animal welfare advice and highlights social stress factors to watch for.

"It talks about feed budgeting, selling stock early and focusing on maximising income rather than reducing costs, given most farm costs are fixed."

Mr Wakelin said it was important to feed stock as well as possible.

"Concentrate on per-head performance to maximise profit in the medium term. The best stock, well fed, will produce better offspring."

Many farmers are still recovering from the drought last season and so the financial and social stress is considerable in some cases.

"We need to be watching out for friends and family and recognising behaviour changes that might signal when extra support is needed."

Mr Wakelin said the Meat & Wool New Zealand regional team would be working with farmers, monitoring the situation and assessing progress as weather conditions changed. And like last year they would work closely with MAF and provide information for drought situation reports.

Anyone wanting a copy of the drought check list, "Meeting the Challenges - getting through droughts" should call Meat & Wool New Zealand's

0800 696 328 telephone line.

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