[Drought /Radio New Zealand Country]

It is looking increasingly likely that there will be a drought declaration in Northland within the next few weeks according to Federated Farmers.  Northland region President, John Blackwell, said spring had been good for the region but a dry November and December had caused problems across the board, particularly when combined with strong, drying winds.  Rainfall was around half of average in December which has seen soil moisture levels fall, particularly in the Far North.  Mr Blackwell said the localised dry conditions provided farmers options to transfer stock to farmers in other parts of the country.