Rainfall in North Otago was minimal in December and has continued so far through January.
The rainfall figures for North Otago during the month of December were released by Raineffects Limited hydrological consultant Dave Stewart.
They show for the fifth successive month Oamaru town, Palmerston, Waikoura, Islay Downs, Oamaru Airport, Kauru, The Dasher were all well down on average rainfall.
Mr Stewart said it was beginning to affect farmers.
“Farmers reported a very dry month in December. Soil moisture levels remain low on non-irrigated land. Rain is urgently needed to ease the dry conditions. No growth is occurring on non-irrigated land.”
Oamaru has failed to reach its average rainfall each month since June and the amount of rain recorded this year is nearly three times less than last year.
Dry westerly winds were common and caused any rainfall to dry up quickly.
Irrigation restrictions are beginning to be put in place.