The South Island of New Zealand suffered a very substantial wind storm in September. Power outages were significant and prolonged; a large number of centre pivot irrigators were blown over.
Fortunately for Craigmore, the damage on our farms was limited to minor damage to irrigators, and periods without power. We were able to milk all the cows at least once in 24 hours during the peak of the power disruption. Direct losses were covered by insurance. The event has highlighted that, even in New Zealand, with a benign maritime climate, we are not immune to occasional weather events. They may be less frequent and less damaging to farm output than in many parts of the world, but exceptional events can occur, and we need to be as prepared for them as possible. One key lesson from this event is the importance of back up generation for each milk shed, so that milking is not disrupted, and cow welfare not compromised.
NZFarmer.co.nz reports: “Storm damages over 800 Canterbury irrigators”