THE ENTIRE Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is officially in drought, leaving farmers with failing crops and a severe shortage of water.
The country’s most populous state was declared “100 per cent in drought” by Australian authorities today after one of the driest winters in living memory.
Less than 10mm of rain was recorded in the western, north west and central areas of NSW over the past month, with a similar pattern expected for the next three months.
NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said he hoped for rain to help farmers and regional communities.
“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,” he said.
The Australian government have offered an additional payment of A$12,000 (£7,000) on top of the annual relief payments of up to A$16,000 (£9,000) available for farmers to try to offset the losses.
However some have said the offer was “too little, too late” and warned that 20,000 are yet to apply for the grant because of the cumbersome process.
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