8 Feb 2010

Rain not yet enough to lift Northland drought

6:06 am on 8 February 2010

Northland remains officially in drought despite 35-80mm of rain in the region last week.

The Ministry of Agriculture's national adverse events committee reviewed conditions there and elsewhere in the country.

Co-ordinator Phil Journeux says the Northland would need the same amount of rain again in the next fortnight to break the drought, which on current forecasts appears unlikely.

Mr Journeaux says there are ample supplies of supplementary feed available should Northland farmers short of stock require supplies.

Those needing to reduce stock numbers on their farms are having no trouble finding space at meat plants, he says, and the ministry has seen no sign of drought-related animal welfare issues so far.

Otago and inland Bay of Plenty are still dry, though most areas have had "reasonable rain" and the situation is looking better than it was, Mr Journeaux says.