17 Apr 2013

Bay of Plenty farmers celebrating rainfall

6:20 pm on 17 April 2013

Federated Farmers says the drought has broken in Bay of Plenty and farmers there are celebrating.

Up to 100 millimetres of rain has fallen in some areas.

Federated Farmers' provincial president John Scrimgeour said there was an immense sense of relief and excitement among farmers who now saw a chance for grass growth.

Mr Scrimgeour said they had received a psychological boost and were hopeful of receiving regular rainfall.

He said farmers would be able to stop forking out for feed and start buying maintenance items instead.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council agrees the recent rain has mostly broken the region's drought.

The council says rainfall has been variable across the region with Western Bay of Plenty getting about 100 millimetres, Eastern Bay of Plenty about 50 and Rotorua 235.

It said there was capacity in the water tables to soak up more rain in the next few weeks if it wasn't too heavy.

However, Alan Law, a dairy farmer at Thornton near Whakatane, said on Wednesday that in the past 24 hours, 48 millimetres of rain has fallen and more is needed.

Mr Law said many farmers have dried off their dairy herds and the rain has come a bit too late for the area.