In some areas it’s the driest spell in 70 years and day after day of endless sunshine is causing heartbreak on one North Island farm
“It’s just relentless and where does it end?” questions one Hawkes Bay farmer who is mentally and emotionally drained by the drought but prefers not to be named.
“It’s gut wrenching to be selling stock but it’s the only real solution. I don’t really know where to turn next. We’ve had tough times before but not on this scale” he said.
Hawkes Bay is one region where the Government has stepped in and declared a drought and offering some financial help for those in need.
Much of the North Island is suffering from drought conditions and water and sprinkling bans plus an extension of fire bans over the lower North Island across the last few days also proves how dry it has become.
“It’s now starting to bite in the towns and milk prices and also veges are starting to take off” says Noel mcGregor,a market gardener in the Waikato region.”We’ve enjoyed the awesome summer weather overall but not everyone’s pleased”.
Farmers have been prepared for previous dry spells however this one is hitting hard as warm to hot days on top of very little rain have compounded the situation.
“I’ve never seen it this bad” says Jeff McClintock of the Bay of Plenty.”I’ve been here all my life and parts of the property have just turned to dust.Clouds can roll in sometimes but then they disappear without dropping anything.Can’t believe it really”.
This week more regions could be declared drought zones and there’s potential for it to cross the Cook Strait if rain doesn’t come soon.
“Much of Canterbury has seen nothing fall for about 5 weeks and some very warm days haven’t helped the situation here in the south either” says Weather Analyst Richard Green. “It’s great to see some farmers helping out the northern neighbours and I’m sure the locals here are also keeping an eye on their own situation”.
This week looks mostly dry for the country and also this coming weekend.The situation could change next week and we’ll be tracking the rain with RainWatch later today.