8 Mar 2017

Heavy rain breaks Northland drought

3:05 pm on 8 March 2017

Heavy rain in Northland has finally broken the drought that has plagued the region over summer.

Up to 80 millimetres fell overnight in many parts of the north causing some surface flooding but no serious damage.

The Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker gave the government tongue-in-cheek credit for the downpour.

"The thing if you want rain is you ask the Minister to classify an event and it rains!" she said.

"The good thing was, we had some rain in about the middle of February, and the grass started to green up.

"And now just when we needed it most we've got another lot of rain that's going to last over the next few days which will keep the pasture growing and that's definitely what we needed."

However, Mrs Jonker said the three month drought would leave many Northland farmers out of pocket through reduced production, and the added cost of replacing feed they'd been forced to use up before winter.

She said it was important for farmers to keep in close touch with their banks as they reworked budgets for the season.