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Building resilience for drought

Find out what help and resources are available for farmers during periods of drought.

Building resilience to drought

During periods of extended dry weather, it gets tougher and tougher for farmers and growers.

While early planning can help to negotiate a drought, dry hard fields and limited access to water take a toll right across rural communities.
The most important resources on farmed and productive land are farmers and their families.

A number of financial, social and other resources are available - see support for Farmers below.

What you can do

 Benefits of shelter belts

  • To improve soil and animal health
  • To have as an option for carbon offsetting
  • Alternate income source

Why you might consider rotational grazing

  • To improve soil organic matter
  • Increase water holding capacity of the soil
  • Improve grass or crop production

Reducing soil compaction or pugging

  • Retaining good soil structure
  • Maintain water holding capacity of the soil
  • Maintain grass or crop productive capability

Benefits of direct seeding over cultivation

  • Minimise cultivation to reduce top soil and moisture loss

Benefits of shade trees

  • Reduce water temperature of streams or dams
  • Maximise water retention (evapotranspiration)
  • Improve ecological health of waterways
  • To improve animal health

How can I increase my water storage

  • Investigate scope of restoring previously drained wetlands and opportunities with natural low points

Land use options for drier conditions

  • Drought tolerant seed or grasses (incl - avoiding shallow rooted plants where possible)
  • Building in land use diversity – not all eggs in one basket
  • Farm forestry, farming and dry tolerant trees

Supplementary feed (Fodder) from poplar and willows

Support for farmers

East Coast Rural Support Trust 0800 RURAL HELP
Buy or sell feed
Farm Business Advice Support Fund
Dealing with dry conditions



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