Farmers in parts of the Gisborne region are now into their third autumn drought and having to reduce stock numbers from already low levels.
Federated Farmers Gisborne-Wairoa president Hamish Cave says the regional drought committee has been criticised for not making a formal drought declaration.
That has not been possible, he says, because conditions in the region are extremely variable, with farmers in some parts of the Gisborne-Wairoa region buying-in stock because they have too much grass, and other areas where there has been little rainfall.
Mr Cave says store stock have been selling at good prices which will help farmers having to quit stock this season.
The financial crunch for them will be next year when they do not have stock to sell.