5 Jun 2013

Crop growth continues in mild weather

9:30 am on 5 June 2013

Farmers in the central North Island and the far south say generally mild conditions are allowing some late pasture and crop growth despite the first snowfalls of winter.

Fraser Gordon, who farms near Taihape, says last week's snow was a worry for farmers in the central North Island where they're still trying to shake off the effects of the summer drought.

"We certainly got a fright last week with our first fall of snow and it was followed by a frost - then three days later it was beautiful and mild again. We're still picking mushrooms in June, so I don't know what's going on because we're at 2000 feet here and that's unheard of."

Mr Gordon says farmers in the higher hill country haven't had the same breaks, but in his area they're putting on nitrogen fertiliser to spur the growth along.

Farmers in Southland and Otago also had to plough their way through snow last week.

And those along side the Mataura Rriver have had to contend with some flooding this week, as well.

But a Southland Federated farmers' representative, Andrew Morrison, says mild conditions in between times have alleviated some of the feed worries there too.

"We have had a lovely warm, mild period right through to end of May and even though we had snow fall last Monday and Tuesday - and significant rain post weekend, they were short sharp events and we're back into good days. So things are tracking quite good."

Mr Morrison says farmers are still keeping a close eye on feed supplies because they know brassica crop yields will be down.