Increasingly dry conditions in northern and eastern Waikato are hitting dairy, sheep and beef farms as pasture growth slows.
It's been about two months since any decent rain fell in those areas and there looks to be no immediate relief in sight.
Dairy farmers are having to buy in extra feed supplement and many have reduced milking early.
Dave Muggeridge, who has a dairy farm at Tatuanui near Morrinsville, says conditions are pretty tough and he has had to go to once-a-day milking, about three months earlier than normal.
Sheep and beef farmers are also being badly hit. Hill country farmer Steven Stark says conditions on his property are as bad as during last year's record drought.
DairyNZ says farmers who took the opportunity to grow more supplementary feed during spring will cope with the dry period, but animal condition must be monitored closely.
At least 100mm of steady rain is urgently needed and ideally spread over two significant falls, a week apart.