The Government is preparing for the possibility that it may have to declare a drought in some parts of the country, again.
Regions becoming abnormally dry for the time of year include Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Taranaki and the top of the South Island.
But the greatest concern is for Northland, which is still recovering from last year's severe drought.
Regional drought committees are being activated there and in Waikato.
Agriculture Minister David Carter acknowledges that with no significant rainfall forecast for those areas, there is a real risk of slipping into drought in the next month or so.
"Those who make the hard calls early are the ones who tend to get through the drought the best," he said.