13 Mar 2012

More grain to dairy conversions expected after wet summer

3:27 pm on 13 March 2012

A grain growers' representative is expecting more arable farmers to give up and convert to dairying as a result of their experiences this season.

A lack of dry, sunny weather has seriously disrupted the harvesting of grain and seed crops in the man production area, Canterbury.

Most of the crops are having to be dried after harvest because they have high moisture levels.

Federated Farmers grain and seed chair, Ian Mackenzie, says that's costing 10% to 15% of the value of the crops.

He expects the stress and frustration after an excellent growing season will be the last straw for some growers, and a substantial number will turn to dairying.

He says the sheer anxiety of waiting for the sun to come out makes dairy farming look a whole lot more attractive than it did even a year ago.

Another Canterbury grain and seed grower, David Clark, says growers are hanging out now for fine weather forecast for this week.