Dry conditions are starting to bite more deeply in central and southern Hawke's Bay and eastern Wairarapa forcing farmers to sell off stock early.
Mike Petersen, who farms near Waipukerau, says there's been no significant rainfall since the beginning of October and green feed crops needed later in summer have failed to strike.
He says a lot of farmers have destocked all their trading stock and some are trying to get grazing for their capital stock in other regions.
Mr Petersen says Hawke's Bay would normally experience a dry January and February, but the fact that it's so dry in November and December is a concern.
He says there was a bit of rain north of Hastings and in the Gisborne region, and parts of western Wairarapa have had rain.
"So you're probably really talking from about Otane, south down through Central Hawke's Bay and southern Hawke's Bay and then right out through coastal Wairarapa all the way to the bottom, so it's quite a big chunk of sheep and beef breeding country."
Mr Petersen says the conditions mean meat plants are getting stock early.