Australian state now "100 per cent in drought"

Heidi Taylor 7 kicks up dust on the family farm outside Coonabarabran in New South Wales

BROOK MITCHELL GETTY IMAGES Heidi Taylor 7 kicks up dust on the family farm outside Coonabarabran in New South Wales

Drought conditions in New South Wales are the driest and most widespread since the 1960s.

National Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Mahar says the subsidies will hurt Australian farmers already suffering from crippling drought.

Australia's most populous state, has declared that it is 100 per cent in drought, with a quarter considered to be in "intense drought".

Milne said Federated Farmers was exploring ways of supporting affected Australian farmers as many on this side of the Tasman felt helpless.

"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in a take whatever is left", Blair said.

However, there were practical things people could do, including opening their homes, she said.

"For instance we're testing the idea that if anyone out there has a couple of spare rooms or a cottage they may want to offer, to let their Australian peers know and give them the opportunity to catch some respite by offering them a place to take a break".

"Australia's rainfall varies greatly from one year to the next and from one decade to the next, and is strongly influenced by large scale phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña", Australia's Department of the Environment and Energy says on its website.

"We can't make it rain".

Donating money to drought relief charities was also an option, Milne said.

In a joint statement, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud, said: "We will stand with Australia's farming families every step of the way as they cope with this devastating drought: listening, caring, responding and delivering".

Sixty-one percent of New South Wales is in either drought or intense drought, and almost 39 percent is considered drought-affected, Department of Primary Industries maps show.

With dry conditions forecast to continue for the next three months, farmers had to decide whether to continue the expensive and laborious task of hand-feeding cattle and sheep or sell their livestock.

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