The cost of the drought to each dairy farmer has been estimated at $100,000, on average.
Official drought zones were declared across the North Island and the Buller and Grey districts on the South Island's West Coast during March.
Industry organisation Dairy NZ said buying in feed has cost farmers an extra $50,000 and each farm has lost on average the same amount in milk production.
General manager for development and extension David McCall says if milk prices pick up it will defray some of the losses, but not by much.
Mr McCall says says milk prices are looking better for next year, and farmers are being encouraged to put weight and condition back on their cows so they will be in good shape for that that time.