An Introduction to the Southland region


  • J. Newson



Keywords: beef, climate, dairy, forestry, land use, sheep, soils, Southland The 22nd and 40th Grassland Association conferences were held in Invercargill in 1960 and 1978, respectively. The 1978 conference was nearly cancelled as it just followed the massive flooding in Southland that October. In a farmer paper presented by Mr G.A. McDonald of Brydone, it is of interest that he was sowing lucerne on 5.5 ha of his property to protect from the summer dry. It makes interesting reading how the climate has changed since 1978. In a recent NIWA publication, this climate shift is described as the Interdecadel Pacific Oscillation. Previous shifts occurred in 1925, 1947 and 1977. Interestingly, NIWA is suggesting this 20-30 year oscillation may be due to switch again. The previous 1977 shift brought wetter and cloudier weather as more anticyclones occurred north of the country. It is interesting to speculate that many areas, previously perceived as dry, may once again become dry. This will have interesting repercussions because of the recent spread of dairying and the increasing land intensification