Focus on the Land
‘Awesome’ rain sets us up nicely
Monday, January 07, 2013
RAIN in the past 24 hours has set up the district for a more productive and profitable season for farmers and croppers.
More than 30 millimetres of rain was recorded on the Poverty Bay flats and more than 40mm in the hill country.
Federated Farmers provincial president Peter Jex-Blake says it is “awesome rain, definitely, following on from what we got 10 days ago”.
“It should set the district up really well for the next four to six weeks, which is obviously a critical time for farming.”
Mr Jex-Blake says some parts of the district had been on tenterhooks and the rain will instil a lot of confidence into the store market.
“It will recreate more demand for store stock and it should underpin the schedule prices that the meat companies are paying.
“Up till Christmas there were quite a lot of farmers trying to get rid of as much stock as they could in preparation for a dry summer, but the stock coming forward will no doubt slow up quite a bit now.”
Mr Jex-Blake says the cumulative effect of getting follow-on rain is the real value.
Croppers mirror his comments about the increased value for their production.
A spokesman for Cedenco Foods says it was looking dry and the rain would have freshened up the sweetcorn and tomato crops considerably.
The company’s sweetcorn harvest is due to get under way shortly.
“Gisborne has been the driest of our growing areas and the rain on the flats is well-received,” he says.
Positives outweigh the negatives is the generall overall comment.
The squash harvest has started and it is believed the wet ground may delay harvesting a day or two.
That aside, a squash industry spokesman says it is very valuable rain. “Great, absolutely, we’re happy with it.”
The second squash shipment of the season is due for shipping out of Tauranga shortly.
The welcome moisture has come after a dry December and dry start to this month.
In the past 40 days, there have been just five wet days when the amount of rain has been over 1mm.
The best was on December 23 when just under 17mm fell, most of the rainfall for that month.
December had 23 days without any rain, and the month’s total amounted to only 28.6mm.
The average for the 1981-2010 period is 64mm.
The lowest December rainfall on record was in 1981 when just 5mm fell.
Until the weekend, this month had just a touch of moisture at .8mm.
Over the past week the evapotranspiration level — the rate at which moisture is lost from the soil — had been running at 4.8mm a day.
Niwa soil-moisture maps showed the Poverty Bay Flats and area inland beyond Te Karaka were rated as extremely dry.
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