Rain brings big smiles for farmers

GERALD PIDDOCK
Last updated 09:13 10/01/2014

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While holidaymakers may not be relishing the wet weather, the widespread rain over the past fortnight would have brought smiles to the faces of farmers.

The wet weather has been the best Christmas present farmers could have asked for.

"The guy in the big red suit is delivering farmers the best present; widespread rain," said Federated Farmers adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne.

"Aside from essential jobs on-farm, a few day's weather enforced relaxation with family is the best way to recharge the batteries.

"I admit what's good for us farmers may not be great for those in a tent, but every raindrop pushes back the prospect of drought."

Milne said Niwa's (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) early to mid summer outlook was on target.

"Niwa forecasted rainfall to be most likely normal or near to normal for most parts of New Zealand and that's what's being delivered.

"What is helping things immensely is the absence of those strong drying winds that so dominated spring, especially in Canterbury."

Niwa's outlook to February stated that temperatures were likely to be near average or above average in the north and east of the North Island and the east of the South Island.

It forecasted rainfalls to be most likely near normal in all regions except for the north of the North Island.

Soil moisture levels were most likely to be near normal in all regions, except for the east of the South Island.

NIWA said the equatorial Pacific Ocean continued in a neutral state - neither El Nino nor La Nina - and that these conditions were likely to persist from December to February.

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- Waikato Times

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