Although showers are forecast for Northland this week, the regional council predicts a real chance of drought again next summer.
Rainfall over the weekend benefited eastern areas the most, with up to 70 millimetres in some places. A very dry Kaitaia however, received just 8 millimetres and no more than 25 fell in the areas south of Whangarei.
Regional Council hydrologist Dale Hansen, says Northland is still short by 400 millimetres that would normally have fallen over the past six months. He says as soil moisture and stream levels are already so low, an average rainfall over winter will not make up the shortfall.
The way different organisations in the rural sector are working together in the drought, has been praised by the Northland Rural Support Trust.
Trust coordinator Helen Moodie says while the conditions are devastating farmers, there is a follow-on effect for people like bankers, accountants and rural suppliers and it is great to see everyone involved, working towards the same goal.
Ms Moodie says banks are bracing themselves for an influx of farmers seeking extra credit around July and August, as many are having to buy in palm kernel to feed their stock.
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on 11/05/2010 10:22am
we’ve been lucky enough to get a fair amount of rain over the last couple of days and it is absolutely pouring down right now. I thought it would be good to get some plant cuttings into the ground so I went out this afternoon. When I dug into the ground a wee bit with my trowel it was totally dry only 1inch down – even after all the rain 🙁
on 11/05/2010 4:46am
Yes, my 2011 almanac is already written and being published. But the woes of Northland farmers are likely to begin later this winter and over spring.