Drought declaration likely for Otago and Southland

A drought may be declared in Otago and Southland within days.
Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer Record heat and prolonged dry conditions have been hitting farmers hard.
Federated Farmers representative in Central Otago, Andrew Paterson, said he expected an official drought to be also called for Central Otago and Southland within the next week.
It had received only 290mm of rain, when the average was 500mm, he said.
Water was getting scarce.
Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer Irrigation has already been halved in the area and was heading towards 25 percent or a complete stop.
His farm had little grass and it had had to offload thousands of lambs and cattle that it would normally fatten first – even stock water was getting low.
Not only that but the extreme heat was taking its toll too.
Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer "Since we started tailing, which was last week in November, the heat just hasn’t let up," he said.
Farmers needed more support, said Mr Paterson.

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