Eastern Otago farmers are preparing for difficult and expensive times ahead following the wettest November on record.
Paddocks have been left sodden and boggy, meaning major disruptions to crop planting, growing and harvesting.
A Niwa spokeswoman said it had been an "impressive record-breaking month" in Otago, with Dunedin (Musselburgh), Middlemarch and Ranfurly already recording the wettest November in more than 100 years.
Taieri farmer Peter Cashmere said his property was badly affected by flooding and the implications may continue long into next year.
"The ground is that saturated that we can't actually get machinery on to it until such time it has dried out."
From late October onwards, farmers started planting next year's winter crops, replanted grass in this year's crop paddocks, and began making silage and baleage.
Mr Cashmere said chomolia could be planted as late as January without too much impact on growth, but beets needed to be planted before Christmas.
He said he had already planted fodder beet, but was concerned about how well the crop would grow after being saturated and left sitting in ponds in some places.
"The low spots have been affected. We just don't know how it's going to affect us long-term."
Either way, the crop yield would be reduced and farmers may have to spend thousands of dollars buying extra winter feed such as baleage and hay.
The recent heavy rain was already having an impact because the grass was slower-growing and farmers were reluctant to put stock on the wet paddocks for fear of damaging their pastures.
As a result, they were delving into their silage and baleage stocks and feeding stock in dry stand-off areas.
"We're probably in a better position than some farmers because we've got those facilities. Some don't."
Total Harvesting Ltd owner Craig Mitchell said once ground conditions dried out, he was prepared to operate his machinery 24-7 in a bid to catch up.
"We might do one all-nighter in a season because it's going to rain. But this season, once the weather comes right, we'll just keep going for as long as we can.
"We'll be going 24-7 to make the most of the gap in the weather."
So far this season, he had only been able to do about 15 per cent of the work that he would normally do at this time of year.
"It's had a dramatic impact on our work."
He said it would take a couple of weeks of dry weather before many paddocks on the Taieri were able to be worked on.
"We'll just work up on the hills a bit more and try to chip away at it when we can."
In contrast, Maniototo farmer Stu Duncan was delighted with the heavy rainfall.
"Our damage has been insignificant. We just had raised creeks and a bit of surface flooding in Ranfurly that affected one or two houses.
"For farmers, it's been magnificent. It'll keep the grass growing well into next year.
"Everyone's pretty chipper."