Northland's drought-stricken farmers can't expect any rain relief over the next two weeks as an urgent call goes out for help with grazing and supplementary feed.
This week most of Northland's west coast, from Cape Reinga to Pouto Pt, has been classified a localised drought area under government regulations for a small-scale adverse climatic event, covering an estimated 400 dairy farms and 700 sheep and beef units.
It's the third drought in four years in the area and there's little chance of any significant rain to end the drought for at least the next two weeks.
MetService meteorologist John Law said a high-pressure system was expected to bring fine weather over Northland for the next two weeks.
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"That will keep things fairly dry for the next couple of weeks, which is not great if you need rainfall," Mr Law said.
Niwa's last climate summary for March-May says there's only a 20 per cent chance that Northland's rainfall will be at the above average levels needed to break the drought, but a new Niwa summary is due out on Monday.
Northland Rural Support Trust (RST) co-ordinator Julie Jonker said the drought was hitting farmers hard and there was an urgent need for good grazing and baleage to help the struggling farmers out.
"We've been told that there's going to be a shortage of palm kernel expeller (PKE) and that's a good back-up feed, so with none of that spare the need for good grazing and spare feed is crucial," Ms Jonker said.
She said it was also important that farmers and their neighbours kept an eye on each other as the drought would be causing high stress and worry levels.
"We've got to stick together and help each other out. The drought will break, but until then if anybody has concerns about their friends or neighbours who are doing it hard, please ring the RST up and we will help how we can."
Ms Jonker said anybody who could offer good grazing or had spare baleage or other feed could also ring the RST on 0800 787 254.