28 Nov 2008

Dry summer ahead as conditions mirror 2007 drought

12:42 pm on 28 November 2008

Farmers are starting to get nervous again about drought.

Some regions were badly hit by drought last summer and have not received much spring rain yet.

Parts of Waikato - one of the worst affected regions - have had only about 35mm of rain this month.

Waikato Federated Farmers president Stew Wadey, says the dry conditions are mirroring what happened at this time last year.

He farmers are still facing the legacy of the drought. However they can cope with a six week dry spell over summer because that is the norm, but anything longer causes a problem.

In an ideal world, Mr Wadey says Waikato farmers would like 25mm of rain every week for a month.

He says they don't want to suffer a lack of feed again and are taking precautions.

Farmers in Canterbury say they are also well overdue for late spring rain.

After a promising start, Mid-Canterbury Federated Farmers president Michael Morrow, says conditions are very dry for this time of year.

A number of frosts have also slowed pasture growth and damaged crops and the making of silage.

Irrigation bans

Lack of rain in Hawke's Bay has forced the regional council to start introducing irrigation bans.

The council has put a ban on the taking of water from two areas of the Tukituki river and on five farmers who take water from the Ngaruroro river.

It's also imposed a ban on water being taken from six streams on the Heretaunga plains