Dear weather,
It's me, Julie.

I just want to say sometimes you are hard to read. One day you're cold and the next you're hot... then you unexpectedly slap me in the face with your strong stormy temperament.

Farmers all over the country are dealing with some of your unseasonable generosity right now. The Feds chairperson, who I advise, has described the conditions he is working in as not anywhere near the ideal. "It's bloody wet."

Federated Farmers Meat & Wool policy advisor Julie Geange.
Federated Farmers Meat & Wool policy advisor Julie Geange.

The stereotypical farmer is a weather obsessed whinger with nothing better to do than moan about you. In reality farmers are not like that. We talk about you a lot and stress about you because you control everything we do. You dictate what farmers can do and when they can do it.


You dictate whether the grass will grow and in turn our stock.

New Zealand agriculture relies on forecasting from NIWA and MetService to figure out what you are going to do next. Believe me – it's not easy. I live with you every day and I can tell you that you like to play up.

It's hugely important to have these organisations as they help give a farmer wider scope to plan.

I am not envious of the roles of forecasters at all. Your mood swings are intense.

Forecasting is not an exact science and so if information is wrong or misses the mark then you can bet members of the public give the forecasters a very cold blast. But people shouldn't forget forecasters are dealing with their best guesstimates. They do not control you personally. Forecasters do not wake up thinking 'how can I annoy a farmer today. The truth is we can be better prepared for whatever you throw at us when we are forewarned about what your intentions are.

Being a forecaster is like being a politician. You'd get blamed for a whole lot of things out of your control because you're in the line of fire.

I cannot live without you weather, but please be kind to me and my farming family. It is Christmas time after all.

Love and kisses,