'Incessant wind' driving Wairarapa farmers crazy

Wairarapa farmers have had enough of the ferocious wind that just won't let up.

Wairarapa farmers have had enough of the ferocious wind that just won't let up.

There is no doubt that working in near constant wind can be irritating but it is the way it dries out the soil that really gets up farmers' noses.

It has been a particular windy season right across New Zealand, and coupled with dry weather east coast farmers have had enough of the blowing that just won't let up.

Wairarapa farmers have been lucky in that the region has experienced a few spells of rain throughout the summer to keep the crops chugging along, but the wind can dry the ground very quickly.

Federated Farmers Wairarapa president Jamie Falloon said the season had been notable for the ferocity and consistency of the wind.

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The hill country and coastal farmers are suffering the most from the wind, says Jamie Falloon of Federated Farmers.
LOREN DOUGAN

The hill country and coastal farmers are suffering the most from the wind, says Jamie Falloon of Federated Farmers.

"The incessant wind has been driving everyone crazy."

Out east, the wind has been 50 per cent stronger than it normally would be in January. Wind speeds averaged 44kph at Castlepoint for the first month of 2017 compared with a 30 kph long-term average.

Falloon farms at Bideford east of Masterton and said the hill country and coastal farmers have bore the brunt of the wind.

"It might be a gentle breeze in Masterton and it's a howling gale in Bideford. It's been bloody unpleasant," he said.

The cold and wet spring was not what most Wairarapa farmers wanted, but a bit of warmth and rain since had  been a positive.

Farms in eastern areas like Marlborough are getting very dry while the west has been soaked.
STEPHEN RUSSELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Farms in eastern areas like Marlborough are getting very dry while the west has been soaked.

"We've just been getting enough rain and the right time to keep the crops going well.

"The hills are looking pretty brown and the feed quality has certainly gone well off. The happiest animal on the farm is probably the beef cow.

"It's going to be a bit of challenge to get things back into shape but it has sort of been a normal summer for us."

Central Wairarapa recently had a shot in the arm with spell of rain on Thursday, but the hot weather was  expected to dry out soil moisture levels in the following days.

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Metservice meteorologist Tom Adams said there had been a predominating westerlies weather pattern across the country this summer and we hadn't  had the large blocking high pressure systems that we often get this time of year to calm the winds.

Depending which side of the country you are on Metservice rainfall predictions vary considerably. 

Below normal February rainfall is predicted for the regions currently running very dry, such as the northeast of the North Island including: Northland, Auckland,Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay.

"It's pretty dry out there and it gets worse the further north you go," Adams said.

Meanwhile southern Tararua is getting too much rain which is saturating soils making life difficult for dairy farmers.

Above normal February rainfall is forecast for Taranaki to Wellington, as well as Wairarapa. 

 - Stuff

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