2 Feb 2010

Some rain in parts of Northland - but not enough

6:50 am on 2 February 2010

Farmers in parts of Northland had some relief from the drought on Monday, with the first significant rain some of them have seen since September.

But the rainfall was patchy, with little reaching the Kaitaia area or the region's west coast.

The Northland Rural Support Trust says milk production in Northland farms is still about 19% behind last year on a daily basis.

Co-ordinator Helen Moodie says 100 - 130mm of rain is needed over three to four days.

Dairy farmers in the Kerikeri area are stopping milking altogether because lack of feed has forced them to dry off their cows.

Dairy NZ estimates the drought could cost individual dairy farms in Northland about $70,000 in lost production.