Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Farmers welcome warmer temperatures for this time of the year

Temperatures throughout the North Island over the past fortnight have been about 0.5-2°C warmer than normal for this time of year. NIWA are anticipating these mild temperatures to continue forecasting a warm early spring, as reported in their latest Seasonal Climate Outlook.  Farmers welcome the warmer temperatures at this time of the year which assist with calving and early season pasture growth. Temperatures over the August-October period are very likely to be above average in the North Island, while rainfall is expected to be normal or above normal for the east and north of the North Island, and above or near normal elsewhere. 

Meanwhile, the NZX Pasture Growth Index (PGI) for the North Island over the past month has indicated that pasture growth rates are lifting, and tracking either at or above historically normal levels. 

Temperatures in the South Island have been the at least 2°C warmer than normal for this time of year for all regions apart from Nelson/Marlborough, which have been 0.5-1.5°C warmer than normal. According to NIWA, temperatures during the August-October period are very likely to continue to be above normal for this time of year. Rainfall is forecast to be normal or above normal in the west of the South Island during this period, while normal rainfall levels are expected in the east. The PGI for much of the South Island has generally been trending above the historical norm for this time of year during the past fortnight, owing to near optimum moisture levels coupled with mild temperatures. 

Nelson/Marlborough has recorded an average PGI reading of 0.44 over the past 10-days, and is forecast to trend even higher in the short term forecast, according to NIWA.

North Canterbury has benefited from the mild temperatures, also tracking above the historic range for this time of year at an average index of 0.41 over the past 10-days. 

The average PGI for South Canterbury over the past 10-days has been about 0.34, with the temperature index more limiting in this region in comparison to others. Despite this, pasture growth potential has been tracking above the historical normal during the last fortnight. This is a similar case for Otago. 

The Westland PGI has picked up sharply in the past month, tracking in the upper region of the historic norm and averaging 0.43 over the last 10-days. 

Southland has recorded an average temperature index over the past 10-days of 0.90, which is the highest in the South Island. 

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