Authorities have declared drought all across New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia.
Crops have failed, water is in short supply and livestock feed has diminished in the state, which experienced a drier than expected winter in June and July. Less than 10mm of rain was recorded in the western, north-west, and central areas of NSW in the last month.
Authorities declared “100% drought” in the state, which produces about a quarter of Australia’s agricultural output. Out of this 23% of areas are experiencing “intense drought”, the rest is in rough or drought-affected.
“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,” Niall Blair, NSW primary industries minister told The Guardian.
While the federal government has an announced a $190m drought relief package, critics said it was “too little, too late”.