Rain very wel­come but dry not over yet

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By MARY-ANNE MATHIS

Pres­i­dent South Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers

Alittle bit of rain over the last day has cer­tainly bright­ened things up. While we need a lot more rain to over­come the dry con­di­tions, spir­its have im­proved. Our cows are dry at home and now it is a case of fol­low­ing the plans to start next sea­son off as best we can both in an­i­mal terms and fi­nan­cially. This is a longterm project.

Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers hosted a Big Dry meet­ing on Fri­day af­ter­noon. Not a lot of farm­ers at­tended but it was a good venue to dis­cuss some of the press­ing is­sues faced by farm­ers and ru­ral busi­nesses. I have tried to sum­marise the main points be­low.

Ap­pre­ci­ate the peo­ple around you. Or­gan­is­ing this event sim­ply meant ask­ing oth­ers to help and ac­cept­ing of­fers of sup­port.

Keep con­tact with banks, ac­coun­tants and re­lated ru­ral pro­fes­sion­als about your sit­u­a­tion.

Make sure staff and fam­ily are in­formed – they worry too.

Look af­ter the ba­sics – grease, oil and water for ma­chin­ery save ma­jor ex­pense later and don’t cost a lot. Keep rou­tines.

Watch health and safety is­sues – short, dry grass is more slip­pery than mud!

Fa­tigue, heat and dust are safety con­cerns.

The ru­ral busi­nesses and peo­ple you usu­ally work with are try­ing to help as best they can. They are also hav­ing to cope in a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion.

Look af­ter your­self, your fam­ily and your live­stock in that or­der. Keep in touch with neigh­bours. Farm busi­nesses have to be re­silient.

Other busi­nesses are also af­fected by this drought.

There are a num­ber of agen­cies to help – IRD, ACC, Raukawa Char­i­ta­ble Trust, churches, food banks.

If you are con­cerned about your own or some­one else’s wel­fare, do not be afraid to take ac­tion. Ru­ral Sup­port is free and con­fi­den­tial, and can be con­tacted anony­mously. 0800 787 254

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