Rain throughout January has not been enough to remove the threat of a drought.
While the rain that had fallen was appreciated, some areas received more than others, Waikato Federated Farmers president Andrew McGiven said.
He got 40mm on his Te Aroha dairy farm while other farmers had 80-100mm fall in early January. He got just 9mm from the most recent spell of wet weather.
It wasn’t enough.
“There are still areas that if we got a few weeks of hot, dry sunny weather, it would put us back into that [drought] scenario.”
The federation, along with the Rural Support Trust and the Ministry for Primary Industries, has deferred discussions on the dry conditions for two weeks.
“We are playing it by ear at the moment. I wouldn’t say we are out of the drought scenario yet.”
Hot December weather saw some farmers switch to once-a-day and 16-hour milking earlier than normal. It had also affected milk production and he understood that Fonterra’s milk volume collection for the region had dropped by 3 million litres.