26 Feb 2014

Weather frustrating for arable farmers

10:34 am on 26 February 2014

Changeable weather is frustrating arable farmers who are trying to harvest their crops in the main grain-growing region of Canterbury.

Federated Farmers' Mid-Canterbury grain and seed chair, David Clark, says the quality is exceptional but the volume will be down on the big harvests of the past two years.

"(We've) had a lot of easterly conditions and low cloud and drizzle," he says, "which has meant there hasn't been a lot of harvesting days each week. The first real run we got at things was last Friday-Saturday.

"So it's meant, especially with wheat crops, there's still a lot of wheat standing still to be harvested. We're just having to pick our days - but there's a lot of work to be done here in Canterbury."

Mr Clark says farmers have enjoyed exceptionally good harvests for the past two years but it does not look as if that will be repeated this year. On the positive side, he says, the quality of the grain being harvested is high.