Dry start to summer for key dairy regions

While recent rain has been welcomed in many rural regions, a new forecast says dairy farmers can expect a drier than normal start to summer.

Forecasters 'ExtendWeather' say there was much needed end of the month rainfall in many key pasture growing areas and cooler weather has reduced evapotranspiration rates. 

However their new forecast predicts drier conditions for some of the principle dairy regions of the country, namely the Waikato down through Taranaki and the Manawatu, including a large part of the Bay of Plenty and Southern Hawkes Bay. 

Drier than normal conditions are also expected for Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough and down the West Coast, along with much of the alpine country of Canterbury and Otago and the western half of Southland.

Forecasters say the other key variable that can impact on drier than normal conditions at this time of year is temperature. 

Temperatures for November are forecast to be very close to normal to just slightly below normal in the eastern parts of the North Island and very top of the South Island. 

It is a different story for the rest of the South Island with alpine areas being between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees warmer than normal with much of the rest of the island only up to 0.5 degrees above normal.