[14 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy is to visit a drought-hit Hurunui farm to consider whether the current drought declaration warranted an extension. Hurunui Mayor, Winton Dalley said little had changed in the region and that the current declaration needed to be extended past its September end-date so funding assistance could continue. Mr Dalley said some severely destocked properties were unlikely to carry stock in spring unless there was a big change in grass growth, an issue for the upcoming lambing season. Mr Dalley added that the ewes returning to the district was a positive, but transportation was an additional cost to farmers. The drought declaration has provided funding for rural support trusts, hardship payments and tax assistance, but is due to end in September.