Episode 10 – Giving farmers the edge to not be caught out by drought

In Podcasts3 Minutes

Is it possible to truly forecast a drought? Country-Wide editor, Rebecca Greaves speaks to three passionate industry experts working to support New Zealand farmers to avoid being caught out by drought by staying one step ahead of mother nature. 

Whether it’s fancy new weather forecasting technology or a drastically improved water strategy, it’s not going to speed up farmers in drought stricken areas right now, such as the top of the South Island, who are pulling triggers such as offloading capital stock to carting water to stock.  

Guests include:

  1. Ben Noll, Meteorologist, NIWA
  2. Vanessa Winning, chief executive of Irrigation New Zealand
  3. Kristin Kirkpatrick, Extension Manager – Northern South Island, Beef + Lamb NZ


  1. Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
  2. Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

The episode kicks off with Ben Noll showcasing NIWA’s drought forecasting tool and how it overlays key information to give farmers a glimpse into the future into a developing dry situation. 

But being able to predict dryness doesn’t help us get through necessarily without a good strategy of our use of water, says Irrigation NZ chief executive Vanessa Winning. She claims we are a generation behind where we need to be because we have taken it for granted.

Vanessa Winning speaks to Rebecca about a whole of community solutions with irrigators working together with supporting local town water supplies.  

To wrap the episode, Rebecca hears how historic records of rainfall in Marlborough and the farmers that farmed through droughts are helping inform organisations such as Beef + Lamb NZ, Ministry for Primary Industries On-Farm Support, Rural Support and Federated Farmers. Kristen Kilkpatrick who oversees the region as an extension manager explains the resources available to manage through dry times.

Read Beef + Lamb NZ’s Fact Sheet of Strategies Farmers Use in Drought


LISTEN BACK TO OUR LAST LIVE Q+A ON-DEMAND: Episode 2 – In Residence Q+A – What farm management software is right for you? Listen to the podcast on-demand of the one-hour livestream featuring a panel with Trev, Farm Focus, Resolution & Farm IQ.

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