Dry conditions throughout much of the country means some cockies are now facing long waits to get their stock slaughtered, a Hawkes Bay farmer says.
Federated Farmers Hawkes Bay president Will Foley said the long delays were piling more pressure on farmers who were trying to offload stock.
Mr Foley said huge stock numbers were being sent to the meat works and that was creating a big backlog.
"There's no doubt about it it's drier than normal in large parts of New Zealand. In Hawke's Bay where I am conditions are relatively normal but I guess because of the drier than normal conditions across the whole of New Zealand there's quite a large flow of stock into the meat processing plants at the moment."
Mr Foley said while some farmers could get their stock sent to the works in one to two weeks, others were having to wait up to four.
"Certainly the ones (farmers) who are on the drier side you know they're perhaps running out of feed, so those stock could potentially be losing weight.
"I know because of the dry, farmers are trying to react quicker than perhaps in other dry years so those stock will be at lighter weights anyway."
Mr Foley said if there was not decent rainfall soon, some farms could run out of water and the stock feed situation would continue to deteriorate.