No drought break in sight for South

Green Party agricultural spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said more action is needed on climate change to prevent more frequent droughts. Photo / File
Green Party agricultural spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said more action is needed on climate change to prevent more frequent droughts. Photo / File

The South Island's drought shows no signs of abating.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy announced today that Marlborough, Canterbury and parts of Otago have had their medium-scale drought classification extended until the end of June.

The region's current drought began on February 12 last year, and it has now been extended three times.

Speaking to farmers in Hurunui, Mr Guy said recent rainfall had brought some relief to farmers.

"However what these farms really need is good consistent follow-up rain to bring soil moisture levels closer to normal, as it has been dry for so long.

"Farmers in these regions are used to drought and have been well prepared to deal with this summer's additional El Nino effect."

Mr Guy announced extra funding of up to $150,000 to local Rural Support Trusts to help combat the effects of the drought, with $40,000 of that going to the North Canterbury Trust.

Green Party agricultural spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said more action is needed on climate change to prevent more frequent droughts.

"Farmers are central to New Zealand's success as an export based economy and have much to lose from destabilising changes to the climate.

"A major challenge and opportunity for farmers and New Zealand is how to continue to produce meat, milk and fibre products whilst reducing climate pollution which comes from farming livestock."

- NZ Herald

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