Hot, dry conditions affecting farmers

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 05:00 18/01/2013

Relevant offers

Farming

ECan's ploy against non-compliant water users pays off - or has it? Farmers can ease the tax burden with pooling system Waikato maize growers will know velvet leaf impact in October Fonterra milk price boost to add $1 billion to economy A shared love for cricket and stock Lift in dairy payout forecast set to boost Taranaki economy by $58m On the Land: Spring will come late for farmers Grass-fed wagyu beef a profitable option for Canterbury farmers There's a battle to trademark manuka honey Government and private enterprise to spend $31.4m to develop sheep milk industry

An extended dry patch is hurting Hawke's Bay farmers, with no relief in sight.

High temperatures and strong winds have parched the region in recent weeks.

Rain levels were well below average, with the 18 millimetres received in Wairoa just 26 per cent of the average for December.

Napier and Hastings also recorded less than half the average rainfall for December. The dry spell looked to continue right through January, with Hastings recording just 12.2mm of rain so far this month.

WeatherWatch.co.nz. forecaster Philip Duncan said a "big dry is setting in" from Hawke's Bay through to Waikato, and now Auckland and parts of Northland.

Hawke's Bay was on the fringe of the "spring-like weather pattern" hitting the South Island which meant the region's temperatures were being driven up by gusty winds. However, the rain in the south was unlikely to make it to the region, Mr Duncan said.

Apart from a southerly change today, which could bring a smattering of showers, Hawke's Bay would be hot and dry till the end of January. Temperatures were expected to sit between 24 to 28 degrees C.

"It makes for happy holidaymakers but the farmers and growers are a little stressed," Mr Duncan said.

Hawke's Bay farmers spoken to said it was "patchy" around the region, with some better off than others.

Sarah von Dadelszen of Hatuma, Waipukurau, said their stock numbers were the lowest since the 2008 drought.

While it wasn't "dire", it was still concerning. She was grateful for the spot of rain that hit the region yesterday.

"Every drop at this time is gratefully received."

Central Hawke's Bay Mayor Peter Butler said most farmers were equipped to manage in the dry conditions and were killing stock accordingly.

"It's an old-fashioned Hawke's Bay summer."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Is it time for authorities to introduce tougher penalties for poaching?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: Booby traps for poachers cost farmers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Agri e-editions

Digital editions

Read our rural publications online