Mark Hutchinson's Banks Peninsula farm is experiencing the second lowest rainfall in 100 years – but it's still not considered a drought.
Hutchinson's Akaroa sheep and beef farm only recorded 500ml for 2020, he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
"Just to put that in perspective, the lowest recorded in our area in the last 100 years is 470ml," he said.
"Apparently we're still only very dry, we're not in a drought – I'd hate to see what a drought's like."
The farm hadn't caught the southerly rain typical of Bank Peninsula, which Hutchinson found "frustrating".
"We spend a lot of summer watching the southerlies come up and just disappear out to sea and not really give us anything."
This year wasn't off to a promising start either, with the farm averaging just over 20ml per month, Hutchinson said.
"But the average over those months is [usually] about 45 to…54ml - so every time we've had 5 or 6ml we get two days of wind – so it hasn't really done a lot."
However, Hutchinson was pleased to report there had been 20ml over the last 10 days, which had given the farm a "green tinge."
The farm's winter feed situation was currently "okay," after being offered a unit load of hay from a friend in Sheffield, Hutchinson said.
"We were a bit lucky there. We really just go month by month and if we haven't had anything decent in the next month we'll probably have to start getting rid of capital stock I would think."
Last season Hutchinson purchased a 70 hectare finishing block at Tai Tapu in an attempt to future proof his business against increasing extremes in weather. However, this too was proving difficult.
"That's as dry as we are at home so it hasn't been much use this year."
Ultimately, Hutchinson said he would have to keep taking things "month by month" for the foreseeable future.
"We'll just see how we go."