Spring will bring little in the way of a reprieve for farmers hoping to see a diminishing in the drought.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a drier-than-average spring for the Riverina, along with most of southern Australia.
Nigel Smedley, from the bureau’s Wagga office, said warmer-than-average daytime temperatures were also expected.
According to Martin Honner from NSW Farmers, those growers with stock were facing some tough decisions about whether to leave crops in the ground and hope for a harvest, or to use the still-green pastures for feed.
Mr Honner, who farms at Marinna between Junee and Cootamundra, said “every millimetre” of rain had counted this year.
“Everyone keeps talking about when it will come,” he said.
Mr Honner said he had been travelling across the region to see for himself how different districts were holding up under the increasing effects of drought.
There were some areas, particularly to the south of Wagga, which were having almost a “normal” year, while other areas were “really bad”.
“If there isn’t decent rain for the Henty Field Days, Henty will be pretty sad,” Mr Honner said.
“Asking people ‘how’re you going’ is the obvious question, but it also feels a bit stupid at the moment.”
Mr Honner said it was not only farmers who were "doing it tough”, with the dry conditions also having an impact on the wider community.
”When you drive in to some of these business, they haven’t seen many people all day,” he said.
“There is a flow-on effect from the drought.”
NSW drought coordinator Pip Job said the current dry conditions are having wide-reaching impacts and touching regional communities.
“Farmers right across NSW are facing one of the driest winters on record resulting in failing crops, drastic water shortages and a diminishing supply of fodder to sustain livestock,” Ms Job said.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has launched its Managing and Preparing for Drought Guide, in time for spring.
“The current conditions are extremely challenging and I am sure farmers will find the strategies and actions in the guide useful as they deal with the drought,” Ms Job said.
The Managing and Preparing for Drought Guide is available online at www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au, from NSW DPI research institutes across the state, or at the nearest Local Land Service office.