A large Taranaki Maori farming incorporation is feeling the effects of the increasing drought conditions and fears most of their dairy farms will have dried off their cows by the end of March.
Taranaki, along with other regions in the North Island, is joining the queue to be recognised as one of the Government's official drought zones.
Chief Executive of Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) Dion Tuuta says, after favourable weather conditions at the end of 2012, the current dry spell has caught them short.
He says the incorporation is assessing the situation on a daily basis but it does seem that many of their farms could be parched by the end of March.
Mr Tuuta says PKW thought it was adequately prepared for a prolonged dry spell, but those preparations have not been enough to cope with a drought of this significance.
PKW, like a lot of other farms, has started eating into future silage stocks and he says it is getting to a point where the incorporation is simply having to look forward to what next season will bring and are bringing in strategies to protect what resources the farming operation has for then.