21 Jan 2014

North Island farmers miss out on rain relief

2:57 pm on 21 January 2014

Farmers in dry parts of the North Island want to know what happened to the heavy rain they were meant to get on Monday

Soil moisture levels in Waikato and western areas of Northland are actually lower than they were this time last year, when the drought was taking hold.

No one is predicting a repeat of those conditions but Federated Farmers Waikato president, James Houghton, says farmers there haven't had the rain relief they were hoping for and are getting worried.

And it's a similar situation in western Northland.

John Blackwell, a sheep and beef farmer at Okahu, near Dargaville, says they've had about 20 mms of rain in the past 24 hours, but need 100 mms without the wind, to get them through the rest of summer.

He says on top of that the rain they have had will spur on the hatching of pasture-destroying crickets that are now appearing.