20 Dec 2010

Taranaki puts drought status request on hold

5:48 pm on 20 December 2010

Federated Farmers says rain in Taranaki over the past few days has significantly eased dry conditions in the region and a request for an official drought declaration has been put on hold.

Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Ruapehu district were declared drought zones earlier this month, and last week Taranaki applied to be included too.

Federated Farmers' Taranaki president, Peter Adamski, who is also the region's rural support trust chair, says that between 25 and 150 millimetres of rain has fallen, and the drought request has been put on hold and will now be reviewed weekly.

Mr Adamski says it will take a few weeks and further rain for pastures to return to normal.

Elsewhere, more rain is needed in Waikato and Northland to end the drought.

Northland Federated Farmers' president, Matthew Long, says the recent rain has been an early Christmas present for farmers.

"Good grass growth is expected from this and water supplies have been replenished," he says, "but things could turn dry again within three weeks."