10 Feb 2016

Marlborough farmers battle two-year drought

6:20 am on 10 February 2016

Farmers in Marlborough are making the best of some of the toughest climatic conditions in a long time, Beef and Lamb New Zealand says.

The sun rises over the vineyards of Waikakaho Valley in Marlborough

The sun rises over Waikakaho Valley in Marlborough. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

The industry body's northern South Island extension manager, Sarah O'Connell, said recent rain had lifted spirits in the region but had not broken the two-year drought.

The past two seasons were some of the hardest farmers have had, Ms O'Connell said.

"They've had very little moisture over the past 18 months. Although they are used to it they've been faced with a lot more challenges that they wouldn't normally have done - just given that they haven't had any of the autumn and some of the late winter rains that can help them get through the spring.

"But, because they've had a lot of experience dealing with drought over the years, they are also well prepared."