Hawke's Bay has clocked up six consecutive months of below-average rainfall with one local saying it's the worst he's seen in 22 years on the job.
Agricultural contractor Mike Kettle said the province was desperate for rain. Not just any rain but at least 25.4mm - a week.
Many parts of Hawke's Bay have seen less than that in the past two months and farmers worried about shortages of feed caused by the lack of rain in the spring and summer are facing new problems as rock-hard paddocks delay cropping for next year.
"It's all very well to get rain, but we need it to keep going," Mr Kettle said.
He said the entire region was affected, "everybody's in the same boat. They all need it. They all want rain".
The low rainfall of the early-season is reflected in less baleage and silage, which is well down. Fresh problems have also surfaced.
"We've got paddocks that we can't drill, because it's too hard," Mr Kettle said.
Metservice's 10-day forecasts were last night predicting no rain before Monday, with showers to follow for much of the rest of next week.
A similar prediction early last week for the last two days was astray with a few clouds offering much, but producing little.
Figures from Hawke's Bay Regional Council's State of the Environment report for February showed the region recorded 36 per cent of its normal rainfall, based on a 30-year average.
Heretaunga Plains was the lowest, recording 25 per cent, while Tangoio and Ruahine Ranges both had 29 per cent of the normal rainfall.
Most of the rain which fell in February arrived during the first five days of the month and there were some areas of the region which had not recorded any rain since.
The lack of rain meant the region's rivers had below-normal flows for February. Wells in the Heretaunga and Ruataniwha plains measured their lowest levels on record, confirming the drought.
A report by Ministry of Primary Industries policy staff, Gillian Mangin and Annette Carey, based in Hastings, said dairy farms were faring better than sheep and beef operations through the dry spell. Supplementary feed from vegetable processors had provided some relief.
The report, used as part of the State of the Environment, said the farming sector "deteriorated during February" and the problems would worsen if rain did not arrive soon.
"Sheep and beef farmers have been proactive in destocking and some are now already faced with reducing to below their usual winter stock numbers.
"A scarcity of stock water has become an issue on some farms.
"Dry conditions across most of the North Island mean that there are limited grazing options."
Irrigation bans at the end of February were mainly affect dairy farms, orchards and vineyards.
The pipfruit and grape harvest was under way and crops expected to benefit from the dry warm conditions, with average to good yields.