21 Feb 2012

Humid weather disrupts seed crop harvesting

2:04 pm on 21 February 2012

The lack of dry, sunny weather is disrupting attempts by arable farmers in Canterbury to harvest herbage, or grass-seed crops.

South Canterbury grower Jeremy Talbot says farmers are trying to harvest seed that has a moisture content of 21%, almost twice what it should be, and they're having trouble drying it in the damp humid conditions.

He says he has spoken to farmers from North Otago to North Canterbury who are having the same issues.

Mr Talbot says harvesting machines are also breaking down because they can't handle the damp material.

Another effect is that very little grass seed straw is being baled, which will mean less for winter feed.

Mr Talbot says adding to cropping farmers' difficulties is the lack of information they're getting in regional weather forecasts.