31 Mar 2013

Forecast rain won't break drought

10:02 pm on 31 March 2013

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says the rain forecast for the week ahead won't be enough to break the drought.

A drought has been declared over the entire North Island and the Buller and Grey Districts of the West Coast.

Rain is forecast for Tuesday and Friday in many drought affected areas, but Mr Guy says more will be needed to help grass grow before the cold weather sets in.

Mr Guy says he is encouraged by Federated Farmers' field days advising members how to farm in drought conditions, and that they are moving shipments of feed from the South Island to the North Island.

Fonterra has brought forward its payout to dairy farmers which Mr Guy says will equate to around $100,000 for the average farmer.

Meanwhile, the Greater Wellington Regional Council says it won't have to use reserve water supplies until mid-April if current usage rates are sustained.