27 May 2010

Limited grass growth expected in Otago

12:59 pm on 27 May 2010

Some farmers in Otago can expect little or no grass growth until October according to Federated Farmers. All they can do, it says, is hope that the frosts hold off.

Provincial president Michael Lord, who farms on the Taieri Plains near Dunedin, says warm northerly rain over the past few days has been very welcome, but a southerly change overnight bringing snow will put paid to any grass growth over the next few months.

Otago was declared in an official drought in April after not having any significant rainfall since the middle of last year.

Rain over the past few days has broken the drought, but pastures are still very low and in some cases unproductive.

With winter starting next week, Mr Lord expects soil temperatures to plummet. All they can do, he says, is hope that the frosts hold off and that there is no more snow for a while.