It's been nearly five full months since the western and northern parts of Fiji's main islands received significant rain. Some water wells and bore holes have dried up, and government is transporting water by barge and truck to some affected areas. Livestock farmers are culling herds due to lack of forage, and moving their stock to neighboring areas to find grass. Vegetable farmers can't plant and are harvesting some crops prematurely. Wild fires are increasingly problematic despite a fire ban. Hydro-power electric plants are expected to start running short of water within a month.
My farm's bore hole is still providing enough water for my household needs, but not enough to keep all 15 acres properly watered, or to give to more than one or two neighbors.
I'm learning a lot about which young tree species are most drought resistant. Citrus tolerance is disappointing. I'm focused on keeping the most exotic fruit trees alive and to preserve maximum fruit diversity. Mature trees are doing much better than the younger ones. A few mostly sad photos from my farm:
Soursop is trying to hang onto a few fruit while shedding many leaves. Young coconut and sugar cane are suffering
Papaya, Banana/Plaintain and Breadfruit have shed most leaves
Some trees, such as this little Jackfruit and Mulberry, are still trying to fruit:
Citrus fares poorly on most of my soils despite hardy rough lemon rootstock. Here's one of the worst:
Black Sapote, Star Apple, Jamaican Cherry, Ice Cream Bean, Abiu, Langsat. and avocado are doing okay with a little supplemental watering.
Among the most drought resistant on my soil are Mango, Sapodilla, Cinnamon, Macadamia, Cashew and Sandalwood (Yasi)
Of course I'm watering the shadehouse but I need rain before I can collect scion wood for grafting, and to plant out.
Chance of rain tomorrow. . . .