Official figures announcing the entire state of NSW is now impacted by drought comes as no surprise to Riverina farmers.
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.
Daryl Weston, a beef cattle producer in Tarcutta, said the big question for farmers is, when will it break?
“We cut back and sold a lot more stock last year than we normally would but we didn't sell enough,” he said.
“The announcement paints a much grimmer picture, because it means everyone is looking for stock feed and there’s no good markets to keep the price up.”
Mr Weston said although he was pleased with some of drought relief measures, he cautioned against any interest rate subsidies.
“The interest free loans might solve the problem today, but it means we have a big problems coming up,” he said.
“We are down so much in stock numbers and you have to rebuild your stock numbers to rebuild your income."
June and July have been much drier than expected, resulting in failing crops, water shortages and a diminishing supply of fodder to sustain stock.
Alan Brown, chairman of Wagga's NSW Farmers Association branch, said the situation for farmers is ‘diabolical’.
“July has been so dry and it’s made life difficult for us,” he said.
“If we got rain, the prospects in the south of state are still there for some of sort of crop.
“We don’t need a lot in winter to keep things going, but if we go intro spring really dry and we get a couple of hot weeks then we are in trouble.”
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said this latest update confirms what many farmers across the state have seen.
“This is tough, there isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities,” he said.
“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.
“Some areas of the state did receive some welcome rainfall this month that has provided a little relief for stock and domestic water; unfortunately though it will not even come close to the recovery needed for most farmers.”
Mr Blair said forecasts suggests an increase of drier than normal conditions for the next three months across the majority of NSW.