1 Feb 2011

Regions' drought status being reviewed

7:02 am on 1 February 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture is to review the drought status of several North Island regions on Tuesday as it considers the impact of significant widespread rain.

Most areas, particularly in the upper North Island, are starting to recover from the extreme dry conditions following the rainfall over the past six weeks.

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

Manawatu-Rangitikei applied for a drought declaration last month, and Taranaki and Bay of Plenty have drought relief applications on hold.

Federated Farmers Ruapehu president, Lyn Neeson, says they've recommended to MAF that the district's drought status be reviewed.

Ms Neeson says even if the drought declaration was lifted, MAF would consider extending help to farmers still recovering from the prolonged dry spell.

She says farmers who were forced to sell stock at low prices during the drought will have to pay a lot more now to re-stock and it will take them two years to get back to where they were financially.