As readers are aware, the widespread use of atmospheric aerosols is leading to severe droughts. This one in Canterbury is the most severe these farmers have ever experienced.
Newshub (TV3) 28th Aril 2016
North Canterbury is into the second year of a serious drought, and it’s forcing some farmers to take drastic action and de-stock their farms.
The average rainfall for Waipara is 627mm per year, but in the past 12 months it got just 446mm.
Most of that was in January, and since then there’s been about a third of the normal amount. In February, only 19mm fell. In March it was 32mm, and April just 16mm.
One farmer says if it doesn’t rain soon he’ll be forced to get another job.
Omihi farmer Nick Hamilton is in survival mode — there’s barely a blade of grass on his 300 hectare farm and every day he feeds out hay that was set aside for winter.
He’s already sent 1200 ewes and 60 cattle out of the district for grazing and he’s hoping to have the last 800 gone by next week.
“It’s supposed to be a bit easier than this in the autumn time, we expect to be dry in north Canterbury but we didn’t predict this,” he says.
“To send all our sheep away is unprecedented.”
Below: These photos, showing a Jet Star plane spraying an aerosol trail over North Canterbury on April the 22nd, 2016, were taken by Marian Sutherland who wrote: “Jetstar 284, Dunedin to Auckland at high altitude (37,000 ft) in background, while in the foreground and reducing speed and altitude, an Air NZ plane heading in to Christchurch International Airport. They are actually a very long distance away from each other.”