[19 January/ Hawkes Bay Today]

Significant rainfall in drought affected parts of the lower North Island may have come just in time for many farmers to dodge a bullet, although rainfall has been variable leaving some farmers facing significant hardship.  Rainfalls in excess of 100mm has come as a relief for many farmers in the Tararua district, although many note that even with rain the temperatures have not dropped leaving the month feeling dry.  The early start to summer has left many farmers unable to make and save much supplementary feed for later leaving some having to use their winter feed, dry off or cull cows or bring in supplemental feed.  Local support groups are encouraging farmers to ensure that they think about the longer term impacts of the dry weather and take steps to plan for all possibilities to get through winter.