12 Dec 2008

Drought preparations urged

6:04 am on 12 December 2008

Farmers in many parts of the country are being advised to prepare for another drought and be ready to act early.

Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Coastal Marlborough, North Mid-Canterbury and Otago are fast approaching official drought status.

Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Manawatu already report very dry conditions.

Agriculture Minister David Carter says many farmers are still recovering from the last drought and have been working hard to build feed reserves and improve stock conditions.

He says the a national drought taskforce appointed to oversee problems caused by the previous drought, is ready to reconvene if the situation worsens.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says it will monitor conditions closely over the coming months.