Adverse Event Information and Support for Farmers

Classification of Large Scale Drought

The Government has announced it will expand its drought support to new parts of the country and continue helping farmers in areas facing long-term dry conditions. An extra $900,000 has been allocated to help farmers, with the current large-scale adverse event expanded to include Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, and Otago. See the table below for more information on the areas included and at what point, at this stage, they will be removed from the classification


Keep in touch with your Rural Support Trust via 0800 787 254 if you need assistance. For more information of the Feed and Grazing Coordination Service, see below.

Psychosocial support for farmers and growers, and their families will be available, as well as Rural Assistance Payments where income does not meet essential living needs, late deposits and early withdrawal from the income equalisation scheme.

MPI Feed and Grazing Coordination Service

Farmers needing assistance to find feed or grazing can register with the Feed Coordinators.

This is a willing buyer - willing seller match system. Please note, there is no free or subsidised feed available through this service.

To register with the Feed Coordinators for support finding feed - please complete the form here and someone will be in contact with you. 

To register with the Feed Coordinators for support finding grazing - please complete the form here and someone will be in contact with you. 

If you have feed to donate or sell, you register using this form here.

If you have grazing available, register using this form here.

Please consider listing your feed on Trademe and other online platforms as buyers will only be matched with you by a Feed Coordinator based on their need, and these other avenues provide the ability for farmers to help themselves first. 

Government Support

When adverse events occur, whether a local scale emergency declaration in an area or a medium scale event or larger that is declared by the Ministry for Primary Industries, certain recovery measures (depending on the scale of the event) are available. For more information on this assistance, click here 

Rural Support Trust

The Rural Support Trust is there to help, working along side you, in a natural disaster such as a drought. They can help with your application for financial assistance, provide support, and connect you to other services should you need them.  Call them on 0800 787 254 or click here  to go to their website. All calls are free, local, and confidential. If they don't answer first go, leave a message and they will get back to you. This line is open to all rural people, not just farm and business owners.


The DairyNZ website has tools and information for managing your dairy farm through drought as well more tools on planning ahead. They also have resources for farms experiencing low pasture growth due to high rainfall and how to future proof your system for coming seasons. 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Beef + Lamb New Zealand has an Extreme Dry Management Tool kit available on their website for drystock farmers, as well as additional information on animal welfare, supplementary feeding, and planning ahead.

Staff Management

As is the case in these situations, due to the financial hardship of drought, you may need advice on what to do with staff if you can't continue to pay them during this period. For our members, you can call 0800 327 646 who can connect you to the Member Employment Lawyer free service. Alternatively, you can see the redundancy and other employment factsheets available on our Employment Guides ( page. For non-members, you can contact the Rural Support Trust for more advice and information or an independent lawyer.