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Drought Area Extended to Waikato Region

08 March 2013

NEW ZEALAND – Official drought conditions have stretched to include the Waikato area, the country’s premier dairy region.

Adverse event declaration has spread been spreading across the north island now including Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua/Taupo Hauraki/Coromandel and Hawkes Bay provinces, all suffering from heat stressed pastures and scorched crop fields.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand have urged that drought status is not a ways for farmers to receive support but simply recognition that conditions are hard and warrant advice.

It signals to the banks how bad things are and in a minority of cases offers select farms Rural Assistance Payments.

“Most farmers have been either feeding out supplementary feeds or de-stocking, but the situation has become critical as supplies dwindle and farmers are being forced to sell valuable capital stock,” said Federated Farmers, Waikato President, James Houghton.

“The moisture deficit is so high in many places that even if it started raining tonight, it could be about four weeks before the grass would have recovered enough for stock to graze on.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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