Support through drought

Dry Periods & Drought

Getting through a Dry Period

We all know dry spells and droughts can be long and relentless. Now is the time to seek help and plan for the next few months. There are a range of options available to support you practically, financially, mentally, and help you maintain the welfare of your livestock.

Key Actions:

  • Look after yourself, family, employees and keep an eye on your neighbours.
  • Talk to trusted advisors and those who have survived this before, and make use of the help or support offered. 
  • Talk to your local stock agent.  Book as early as possible; space at meat plants can be tight or limited.
  • Plan for feeding your stock over the coming months. Be aware you may have extra stock to feed due to slower processing times at some meat processing plants.
  • Look to increase supply of feed or reduce animal demand. 
  • If buying feed – act early. Order supplementary feed now while some is available.
  • Make decisions early. This will minimise the impact of the extreme dry on your business and increase the likelihood of containing any financial losses to the current season.
  • Animal health and welfare - the  responsibility for the health and welfare of animals rests with the stock owner or person in charge. If you need advice, ask for it from your vet, consultant or an expert in the particular issue you’re facing
  • Use irrigation water effectively and profitably.  For more details click here.

  • Seek help if you’re under pressure 

Talk it through

There are many people to talk to for advice on your situation and possible options available - click on the following organisations to access their websites for more details:

‚ÄčThese organisations all have experienced professionals who understand the challenges and can provide advice.

NIWA Weather details - go to here

Feed Planning Support

Getting a plan in place can help give you peace of mind. Having a feed budget can help you:

  • Calculate your feed demand
  • Calculate your feed supply
  • Investigate options to fill feed gaps
  • Proactively make decisions.

A “snapshot feed plan” can be completed in 20 minutes, and there are lots of support available from farm advisers, industry organisations and specialist services

Monitor your feed situation

Every year, there is potential for dry conditions around the country. This may lead to shortages of feed in some regions. Ongoing feed planning and budgeting is essential.


Other useful resources:

If your are unsure where to start, we can supply you with free and confidential support and connect you with the services you need, whether financial, business or health-related.

Call now 0800 787 254 (RURAL HELP)


The Country's Rural Wellness Week - Neil Bateup

Host of The Country, Jamie Mackay catches up with RST National Council Chair Neil Bateup

02 Apr 2022

Farmers have a lot on their plate this year and that's before Covid-19 is brought into the mix, chair of the National Council of the Rural Support Trust Neil Bateup says.

Read more

No rain, but a perfect Storm

Southland farmers are reeling from the combined impacts of COVID-19 and a long dry period

26 Mar 2022

Southland farmers are reeling from the combined impacts of COVID-19 and a long dry period

Read more

Farm Business Continuity Planning

Having a business continuity plan is important for ensuring your farm can continue to operate as efficiently as possible during any unplanned disruption.

25 Feb 2022
Read more

Drought Support - Tips and Resources

Managing through the Dry Spell

21 Mar 2023
The situation While some areas of the lower South have received some rainfall during late summer and early Autumn, there are areas throughout the Southland region and South Otago where there...
Read more

Rural Support Trust NZ

With thanks to our principal sponsors
Thanks to our Time Out Tour partners