Federated Farmers welcomes the Government’s rapid response today to declare the Northland region to be in a medium scale adverse event. The Federation has responded by reactivating its 0800 drought line (0800 376 844).
“Federated Farmers had hoped that rain would come but things have now come to a head. Farmers will be really appreciative of the Minister’s action,” says Denis Anderson, Federated Farmers Northland provincial president.
“Anyone who has been through the province would have noticed how dry it is. Just over a week ago our soil moisture deficit was 130mm, which is well over double what we expect at this time of the year.
“The main benefit of this declaration is that it provides access to relief measures such as giving Inland Revenue flexibility in treating farmers’ taxation commitments. The Ministry of Social Development further helps families whose income and essential living needs have been badly affected.
“This declaration also offers grants to the Northland Rural Support Trust so that it can offer practical support such as financial advice and welfare support. At times like this, there is a fair degree of psychological and social stress so counselling services would be very welcome.
“Federated Farmers is making its drought line, 0800 DROUGHT (0800 376 844), available to all farmers. At this time, we need to pull together.
“0800 DROUGHT is primarily a feed line that matches farmers with surplus feed to those in need. I’m also contacting Federated Farmers Grain and Seed industry group to ascertain feed stock availability. This provides a further touch point with the Northland Rural Support Trust.
“I will send an advisory out to the Federation’s Northland members shortly to alert them to the drought line and feed list.
“It would be great to see water storage come to the top of the Government’s infrastructure list as climate variation will likely cause an erratic weather pattern. Storing the ample rainfall we normally get would future proof our region and the wider economy,” Mr Anderson concluded.