A message on the Hawke's Bay drought from Trustee and CHB farmer Will Foley

Added 2 years ago

Farming in the summer dry environment is not new to Hawke’s Bay, but this year is unprecedented in the severity and length of the drought.

I know firsthand the stress our farmers and their farming systems are under. And I hope all farmers are taking advantage of the supports available now to get through the immediate crisis.

The drought crisis hub on the HBRC website is a collection of all the information compiled by the Hawke’s Bay Rural Advisory Group to assist farmers in the many different aspects of your business and personal well-being affected by drought. There is also contact information there to help you with any further support required.  Funding is now available to help farmers out so don’t be afraid to reach out.

But I also want to comment on the future.

I serve as a trustee of the Hawke’s Bay Future Farming Trust. The HBFFT was setup last year to focus on and support resilient, profitable and sustainable farming in our region.

Our thoughts go out to all farmers and their families during this time of stress, and like you we wish for some rain very soon to give hope for some pasture growth to return to our parched pastures.

Looking to the future, the Trust’s aim is to research, find and promote new ways of farming in the Hawke’s Bay environment that particularly excel during the dry periods. We are about to launch some projects with that goal.

We would like to hear from anyone who thinks that they have techniques, pastures or crops that have worked or coped better than others during the current dry.

Your ideas  and interest would be especially valuable as we begin our ‘on the ground’ work.

We are in this together.

Will Foley

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