The Hawke’s Bay Rural Advisory Group is encouraging farmers to apply for the drought relief fund before it closes on September 30 this year.

Lochie MacGillivray, co-chair of the Rural Advisory Group, says the fund was set up in response to one of the most complicated and prolonged droughts in living memory and to support the cost of transporting feed to farms.

“For those farmers who haven’t applied for the fund, now is the time to get a transport grant as it will be closing in two weeks,” he said.

Farmers are eligible for a one off grant of $1,000 for properties between 20 and 150 hectares, and $3,000 for properties greater than 150 hectares.

People can claim funding from March 12 this year when the Ministry for Primary Industries declared the drought an adverse event.

Farmers can also claim for funding assistance if they transported stock to properties outside of Hawke’s Bay for grazing purposes and then back on farm, and the cost of transport to a Hawke’s Bay depot will be covered for farmers who have received donated feed.

There is $233,000 remaining in the fund. If farmers have already applied for the fund, they can’t apply again.

The fund secured $1 million from the Ministry for Primary Industries, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Centralines, and Hastings District Council. A Give a Little campaign raised $15,000.

To apply for the fund, go to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council website and search #droughtrelief.

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