Rainfall enough to boost pasture growth - Salinger

A climate scientist says soil moisture levels are almost back to normal for many areas of the North Island.

Dr Jim Salinger says since the beginning of last week, most regions affected by drought conditions have had at least 100mm of rain and some areas received much more, such as Tauranga where 200mm of rain fell.

Dr Salinger says the soil moisture and temperatures in those areas are good enough for pasture growth to resume.

However he says drought declarations covering the North Island should remain in place because pasture growth will be resuming from a very low base, with paddocks either grazed bare or very brown.

Dr Salinger says some parts of Hawke's Bay did not receive as much rainfall as other areas of the North Island.

Earlier this week Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy confirmed that the North Island and West Coast of the South Island are likely to remain officially in a state of drought until September.

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