Wairarapa farmers say drought conditions pushing some to breaking point

A drought has been declared in the Wairarapa region following a drier-than-usual summer.

Farmers say the conditions are making it extremely tough to do their job, with some at breaking point.

An area of dry and barren farmland in the Wairarapa belongs to farmer William Beetham.

"This is by no means a stretch the worst dry period we've had," he told Newshub.

The sheep and beef farmers have been struggling over the past few months due to extremely dry weather conditions.

"The biggest challenge for us is trying to feed stock and trying to utilise the little rain we get to try and grow feed, so the stock are ready for winter," Beetham said.

Federated Farmers said it's a problem affecting most of the region's farmers.

"They are having to take drastic action, like culling stock and being conservative about the feed supply they use to feed their stock," Federated Farmers Wairarapa president David Hayes said.

It comes after the Government declared a drought in the Wairarapa this week, adding to the stress farmers and growers in the area are already feeling.

"It's been a tough two-three years, we've had cyclones, floods, and now a severely dry period," Hayes said.

Local MP Mike Butterick said there is support available.

"Once a drought is declared there is funding for rural support trust so that gives options for people under stress to go and talk to," he said.

But locals say long-term solutions are also needed before more farmers leave the industry for good.

"There will be farmers questioning their position right now and their own future," Beetham said.

"The mental toll is a challenge. You open the door and you see it again, you can't escape it. Every day you go out and you still see the fences that are broken from the cyclone, and the dams that need repairing," Hayes said.

It's just another ugly reminder of the impact climate change has on our way of living.