'It's pretty darn dry': No relief in sight for drought-stricken farmers

With above-average rain unlikely to fall in the coming months, farmers around the country are bracing for another tough year.

Hawke's Bay farmer Jim Galloway says although conditions aren't quite as bad as last year, farmers are under no illusions as to what the coming months will bring, with many already taking precautions such as selling stock.

The dry conditions come after last year brought the worst drought in recent memory for many farmers in the country.

"It's pretty darn dry," Galloway told The Project.

"It looks better than last year - we've got a tight tinge of green to it but there's actually nothing there to grass and parts of the South Island are looking really sick."

He said the dry conditions mean "a lot more work" for farmers.

"We've got to feed out more, some people are carting water out to their stock to make sure their stock have got water, and they can't put stock in some parts of the farm if there's no water in the dam or if the bores have gone dry."

NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll told The Project recent months have brought not only dryness, but also "exceptional warmth".

And it's not just farmers feeling the effects.

"We're talking about Auckland's dams hovering below 50 percent, we're talking about the hydro lakes in the South Island - [which are] very important for power generation here in New Zealand - below 67 percent storage, so it is wide-reaching the impact. 

"Looking over the last five decades, the droughts of 2020 and 2021 have ranked in the top 10 overall."

And Noll says the outlook for the coming months doesn't bring much good news for farmers.

"It's a little too early to talk about next summer but what we can say is that over the next couple of months, as we go into the winter season, above-normal rainfall is pretty unlikely. Unfortunately, the signs are that while there will be some rain over the coming months it's probably not going to be enough to make up those severe deficits that have developed."

Watch the video.