NZ Herald: Counting cost of big dry

NZHerald   5:30 AM Sunday Mar 3, 2013  By Matthew Theunissen
Farmers selling stock as Waikato set to become second drought area

The big dry has parts of the country firmly in its grip.

The president of Federated Farmers in Waikato fears the drought could have an even greater economic impact than those in 2007 and 2008 – estimated to have cost the country $2.8 billion.

The Government has declared a drought in Northland and is expected to do so in Waikato.

James Houghton said conditions in Waikato were worse than spring 2007 and autumn 2008, which the Government estimated cost the primary sector $1.9 billion on-farm and $900 million off-farm.

“It looks like over the next two weeks there’s very little of the North Island that won’t be declared a drought.”

Many farmers were being forced to sell stock, often to South Island buyers, and meatworks were overloaded, Houghton said.

More:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10868848&ref=rss

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