27 Mar 2013

King Country farms struggle through drought

6:27 pm on 27 March 2013

Large Maori owned farms in the King Country are struggling through the drought with no real pasture growth occurring, except for that being helped along by morning dew.

Tiroa and Te Hape Trusts has 11,000 hectares of land and about 120,000 sheep and beef cattle.

The chair of the Trusts, Hardie Peni says it will be about a month before winter feed will need to be distributed.

He says with autumn well underway the location of their farms is an advantage in dealing with the drought.

Because their farms are about 500 metres above sea level, heavy morning dew is helping some grass growth.

Mr Peno says many other farmers in the area are not as fortunate, having to dry-off dairy cows and their production will be seriously reduced this season.