2 Mar 2013

Farmers 'prepared' for drought

8:15 am on 2 March 2013

The head of Federated Farmers in Waikato says lessons learnt from recent droughts may help farmers cope with the current dry spell.

The Waikato Drought Committee on Friday agreed to ask the Government to declare a drought in the region.

The area to be covered stretches from South Auckland to Turangi and includes the Rotorua-Rerewhakaaitu district.

Waikato would be the second region to be officially in drought following a declaration in Northland on Wednesday.

Federated Farmers Waikato president James Houghton said many dairy farmers have destocked early, stored feed and secured feed supplies.

Waikato Rural Support Trust chairman Neil Bateup said a drought declaration is recognition that the problem is severe and allows for some financial aid to farmers.

A drought declaration from the Minister for Primary Industries triggers direct assistance such as tax relief and special welfare payments.