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Drought cost almost $3 billion

An almost $3 billion price tag is being put on the 2007-2008 drought.

Agriculture Minister David Carter has released a report giving a breakdown of how the dry spell affected the economy.

It reveals the primary sector was landed with on-farm costs of $1.9 billion and off-farm costs of $900 million.

The Waikato has been identified as the worst affected region, followed by Manawatu and Taranaki.

Major impacts were reduced stock quality, fall in milk production and increased costs from farmers having to buy extra feed.

The Weather Watch Centre has indicated some concern about the upcoming El Nino which favours dry weather across eastern parts of New Zealand and may affect the country again this summer, however it was premature to know how significant an impact it would have on rainfall.




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