Rain answers farmer's prayers

By Patrick O'Sullivan

With the extra moisture in the ground and sunshine we should get a good response. The spade test has put a smile on the face of the Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay Meat & Fibre chairman Will Foley.

When the plight of Central Hawke's Bay farmers was highlighted on page one of Hawke's Bay Today recently, just 4mm of rainfall had fallen on his Waipukurau beef and sheep farm since 40mm three weeks earlier - not enough to break the drought going into winter.

"Overnight we got 15mm over 24 hours - when Auckland was getting floods and whatnot - that's been a great help," he says.

"With the extra moisture in the ground and sunshine we should get a good response."

Foley says that occasional light frosts would not affect growth.

"When we start getting three or four frosts in a row, that's when the ground temperature will start getting down and affect the regrowth."

He says soil moisture levels have improved - he recently dug a hole that showed 1cm to 2cm moisture depth.

"Now it's a good spade depth.

"If we could keep getting falls of 15mm to 20mm like that, even just once a week, it would be enough to get us going."

- Hamilton News

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