28 Apr 2009

Drought relief announced for Hawke's Bay

5:22 am on 28 April 2009

The Government has announced a drought relief package for Hawke's Bay farmers.

A medium level drought was declared for Hawkes Bay last week, although there has been rain in many places recently.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says the region is 60% down on normal rainfall levels over the past seven months. Pasture growth is stunted, forcing stock sales.

The Government assistance includes tax initiatives and farm management advice. Similar relief was given to Gisborne and Wairoa farmers last week.

Hawke's Bay Federated Farmers president Kevin Mitchell says the announcement is a real morale boost to farmers. The drought is the third in three years.

Federated Farmers is reminding its members that a drought helpline is operational again.

It says the service is useful for matching up farmers with feed to sell, and those who need to buy it.