The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) is an applied research and information transfer organisation responsible primarily to New Zealand arable growers.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand have issued a Fire Danger Outlook for the coming month, noting that any rain today and over the weekend will have minimal effect in reducing the extreme fire danger levels in many areas. Prohibited fire seasons (Total Fire Bans) are now in place in many areas, with Restricted in others. Remember to visit www.checkitsalright.nz before undertaking any crop residue burn and take extra care with any activity that could create a spark and cause an unintentional fire.
The www.checkitsalright.nz allows you to check fire restrictions in your district and to apply for a burning permit to burn crop residue. It only takes a few minutes to fill in the on-line form and you should receive your fire permit by email within a few days.
- There is no charge for a fire permit.
- Only one permit is required for the whole of the fire season
- Prepare your paddock correctly with cultivated fire breaks, water on site etc.
- Check the weather forecast, wind direction etc
- Go checkitsalright.nz to see whether a prohibited fire season has been declared.
- You also need to comply with city/district and regional council burning restrictions, including requirements relating to smoke nuisance and controls under the Resource Management Act.
- Have your permit with you, in either paper or electronic form, from the time you start preparing your fire to the time that it is put out.
Rain throughout spring and early summer has created a management headache for Canterbury white clover seed growers. FAR Herbage Seed Research Manager, Richard Chynoweth, says the rainfall has resulted in clover seed crops with extra leaf and dense vegetative bases.
“This is a problem for farmers, as crops which retain a green and damp base are at risk of suffering high yield losses; firstly through seeds sprouting before the crop is dry enough to harvest, and secondly, through harvest losses caused by damp seeds, sticking to vegetative matter and being lost out the back of the header when harvest does occur. The hot weather of the last few days is starting to help, and desiccants will dry out the clover canopy, but many growers are still concerned about how best to deal with leafy dense crop bases.
“There is no one size fits all solution, as different cultivars, soils, rainfall figures and growers’ management techniques to date, will all produce slightly different crops and different issues. With this in mind, FAR and SIRC are holding a field discussion at Rakaia next week (9.30 – 10.30am, Friday 8 February) to consider all these different scenarios and the harvest options that are available.”