Drought funding

Last updated 12:00 26/07/2013

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While most farmers are walking through mud and wet, it is official - the worst drought for almost 70 years hit many regions in summer and autumn.

And although the drought is well and truly broken, the drought declaration will go until September 30.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the drought was not caused by El Nino but by slow-moving or "blocking" high pressure systems over the Tasman Sea and New Zealand.

The areas most affected by the 2012-13 drought were southern Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central North Island, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and parts of the north and west of the South Island.

MPI resource policy manager for North Island regions, Stuart Anderson, said although the drought conditions dissipated with the onset of winter and many farms had started to recover following the good autumn conditions, the economic and social impact of the drought continued to be felt around the country.

"The recent snow makes it harder for farmers to see themselves through the winter and manage feed supply and pastures," he said.

Declaration of a drought meant extra funding through Rural Support Trusts, and some farmers experiencing hardship were eligible for rural assistance payments.

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- Manawatu Standard

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