New Zealand's government officially declared the country's most widespread drought in at least 30 years today.
Farmers estimate that the drought has cost them NZ$1 billion (£540m) so far in lost export earnings, and it is beginning to take a toll on the New Zealand economy.
Parts of the North Island are drier than they've been in 70 years and scientists said that the unusual weather could be a harbinger of climate change.
There has been little significant rainfall in the northern and eastern parts of the country since October.
Farming, and dairy produce in particular, drives the economy and the drought is expected to shave about a percentage point off economic growth.
Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills said North Island slaughterhouses are processing about 40 per cent more cows and sheep this year as farmers reduce their herds, but the increased numbers and lighter weight of the animals has resulted in plummetting prices.
Milk production has also been affected by farmers reducing their herds.
Climate scientist James Renwick warned that New Zealanders should expect more summers like the current one due to global warming.
He said that the dry subtropical weather that helps to form deserts in places like Africa and Australia is expanding toward the world's poles.
He predicted that the risk of drought in New Zealand will keep increasing and water resources will become more stretched.