19 Dec 2010

Rain brings farmers relief, but drought not over yet

10:03 pm on 19 December 2010

Farmers in drought-stricken regions of the North Island have received some relief with the weekend's heavy rain, but say it's not yet enough to break the drought.

Northland, North of Auckland, Waikato and the Ruapehu district have all been officially declared in drought.

Over the past three days, parts of Northland have received about 100-millimetres of rain, with Dargaville getting 140mm.

A Northland dairy farmer, John Greville, says the rain is a good start and the grass will get some growth.

But he says they need to get a follow up of rain for things to really get back on track.

Parts of Waikato have had up to 50mm of rain on Sunday alone, which the local Federated Farmers president, Stewart Wadey, says has brought some hope to farmers there too.

More rain is forecast for both regions overnight and on Monday.

Mr Wadey says if the drought continues some dairy farmers could be forced out of the industry.

He says farmers have been borrowing from the bank to get through previous droughts and another lengthy dry spell could spell the end for some.