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Rainfall in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland brings hope, but more is needed

In Te Tai Tokerau/Northland, recent precipitation provided a modest respite from persistent aridity, though further rainfall is essential for a significant impact. Dairy sector sentiment is buoyant, bolstered by an uptick in forecasted payouts. Dairy cow pregnancy assessments are progressing, with a 10 to 15 percent non-pregnancy rate aligning with typical outcomes. However, the region grapples with an exacerbated labor scarcity, intensifying longstanding challenges.

Pukekohe's winter crops face threats from diamond black moths and army worm infestations. Agricultural producers report subdued demand and unsatisfactory returns for their produce. Conversely, Waikato experiences robust grass growth and adequate dairy production without reliance on supplementary feed, despite some farmers opting for it. The maize silage market has seen a downturn, with diminished demand from dairy farmers and grain operators, compounded by rapid crop maturation necessitating imminent harvest regardless of market conditions.

Bay of Plenty's kiwifruit sector exhibits optimism, particularly with the introduction of a new red variety. Despite some concerns over small fruit sizes, gold kiwifruit cultivators anticipate a fruitful harvest. King Country farms benefit from ample grassland, though the quality remains suboptimal. Livestock conditions are improving slowly, amidst dissatisfaction with store lamb pricing. Taranaki enjoys a relatively favorable summer, with adequate pasture coverage and successful commencement of autumn calving.

Manawatu's typical summer dryness prompts supplementary feeding for dairy herds, while fodder crop conditions support a positive outlook for winter. Te Tai Rāwhiti farms maintain decent conditions despite a dry February, with stock management challenges compounded by economic pressures. Hawkes Bay's kiwifruit and apple orchards show resilience and recovery post-flooding, with active harvesting underway.


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