27 Jan 2011

MAF considering leaving drought benefits in place

1:00 pm on 27 January 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture says it will consider leaving the financial benefits of being in an official drought in place, when it reviews the drought status of several North Island regions next week.

MAF says most areas, particularly in the upper North Island, are starting to recover from the extreme dry conditions following significant rain last weekend.

Northland, North Auckland, Waikato and the Ruapehu district were officially declared to be in drought in December.

Manawatu/Rangitikei filed a drought declaration request last Friday. Taranaki and Bay of Plenty prepared applications late last year which were put on hold.

Adverse Events co-ordinator, Phil Journeaux,

MAF says pastures are still very short on farms and supplementary feed levels are low. It says the assistance to farmers could continue for a little while.

Further rain is expected this weekend, which MAF says should boost pasture growth on farms.