The drought-hit the Hunter Valley in early 2018. Photo: Max Mason-HubersThe entire state of NSW is now impacted by drought, official figures show.
A drier-than-expected June and July has left many farmers with failing crops, a short supply of water and diminishing livestock feed.
According to the Department of Primary Industries, 61 per cent of NSW is either in drought or intense drought, while nearly 39 per cent is drought affected.
“This is tough,” NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said in a statement on Wednesday.
“There isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities.”
Less than 10 millimetres of rain was recorded in the western, north west, and central areas of NSW over the past month and drier-than-normal conditions are forecast for the next three months across the majority of the state.
The combined drought indicator – which takes in rainfall, soil water, plant growth and long term climate data – shows no part of NSW is recovering despite some recent rain.
“Producers are now faced with some very difficult decisions on whether to graze sown crops or rely on potential rainfall in the next two months in order to increase yield production,” Mr Blair said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this week toured drought-stricken communities to announce $12,000 grants for each affected farming family.
The NSW government has also doubled its funding commitments to struggling farmers with a total of $1 billion pledged towards the growing crisis.
‘Everybody’s looking for rain’Sign up to help farmers survive thedrought$500 million EmergencyDroughtRelief Package announced