Concern over El Niño sees jump in feed sales

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  • 15/10/2018

Farmers appear to be taking no chances on the possibility of an El Niño weather pattern, with an increase in maize sales.

Maize is grown from North Cape to Southland and once harvested is made into silage for dairy cows.

Dairy farm system specialist for Pioneer, Ian Williams told RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange that there has been a jump in maize sales this year.

"The sales are off the back of palm kernel costs, and there is also a lot of concern about the possibility of an El Niño year," he said.

"If that is the case it will mean dry conditions in the east and north, and farmers will need feed for that," said Mr Williams.

Many farmers are planting early, after a dry September.

"There is a lot of maize going into the ground early, up to 20-30 percent on the normal planting for this time of year," he said.

An El Niño can bring more westerly winds in summer, bringing rain in the west and dry conditions in the east.

In the last one, paddocks were turned into dust bowls bringing the East Coast of the country into drought.

"Seeds are a regular feature on REX thanks to the experts at Pioneer Brand Products. If you have any questions or want to find out more, call 0800 PIONEER or visit their website."

Watch the full interview with Ian Williams above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter's Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.