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Dairy farmers in New Zealand need to plan ahead for El Nino

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Staff writer ▼ | December 22, 2015
DairyNZ is telling dairy farmers "to plan for the worst and hope for the best" with the El Nino weather pattern.
New Zealand dairy
Climate   The 1997-1998 El Nino cost more than $1 billion
The 1997-1998 El Nino cost more than $1 billion in farming losses. Regional manager for the lower North Island James Muwunganirwa said a key point was for farmers to do a feed budget and know what feed was on hand. That included pasture, crops and silage.

Muwunganirwa said some dairy farmers were thinking if feed got tight they would switch to once-a-day milking. He said others were buying palm kernel to get through the summer.

"If it doesn't get dry with El Nino, then farmers will have feed on hand. But we don't know what the El Nino impact will be and some plan for the dry months ahead is better than no plan."