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An eye on summer and the region

The end of February marks the traditional end of summer and it seems to have been like one of those traditional summers we all remember from our childhood.

A lot of hot days, many over 30 degrees with not too much rain to be had.

In this region we should be thankful for the rain we have had as north of here they have subsisted on a lot less.

We were lucky with the good early summer growth we had which got most people through.

Most of the talk I hear is about the lack of good stock water.

A run of 30 degree plus days certainly drained the dams both in evaporation and also livestock demand.

It is a timely reminder of the ongoing need for water maintenance and investment.

I keep thinking that if these trends of long hot summers continue our precious water resources will need to be managed and nurtured more vigilantly.

Coronavirus has had a major effect on our region and our industry.

Many freezing works have full chillers and freezer inventories at present.

This is caused by the major slowdown in China.

People have stopped dining out due to fear of the virus and delivered containers are not being cleared from the ports as workers were ordered home as the Chinese government placed an extension of the holiday period in a bid to help contain the virus.

This drop in demand has caused a bottle neck at the processors as they look to redistribute the meat to other markets.

Coupling this with dry conditions pushing more animals to the works has unfortunately driven schedule prices down very quickly with lamb prices really coming off the boil and very little space to get rid of extra ewes.

Still spare a thought for other industries.

If anyone is in need of casual staff Kim Holland of the Eastland Wood Council is helping facilitate work for people in the logging industry.

Recently much focus has been on M.Bovis but recently a different virus has risen its head again.

Nine herds inland from Tutira through to the Napier-Taupo road have been confirmed with Bovine TB with 14 more herds also under suspicion.

All reactors are traced to wildlife vectors along the Mohaka river.

About 50,000 hectares of bush and farm land need to be controlled.

I was told this wasn't a big outbreak.

It did make me ponder the question “what would big look like?”

This incursion has meant that all farms south of the Wairoa river are now on movement control for at least the next two years.

That means all cattle moving off farm not to the works must be tested less than 60 days prior to movement unless they are going to the works.

This has meant MPI has become stricter on NAIT compliance.

They have started fining people for non-compliance particularly animals being auto-registered.

This means their tags haven't been livened up before they leave the farm.

So, get those NAIT accounts sorted, if you need help give me or the NAIT call centre a ring.

The good news it's rained, cattle scanning has begun and by all accounts the results so far have been very good . . . apparently cows don't get headaches.

Sam and Gemma Hain. Picture by Paul Rickard