Mid Coast region remains drought affected according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries combined drought indicator

On the right track: A drought affected paddock at Mitchells Island. The Department of Primary Industries combined drought indicator shows the Mid Coast region remains drought affected.
On the right track: A drought affected paddock at Mitchells Island. The Department of Primary Industries combined drought indicator shows the Mid Coast region remains drought affected.

Mid Coast farmers aren't out of the woods yet but it's looking promising. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) combined drought indicator shows the region remains drought affected.

In recent months, towns such as Bulga, Cells River and Nowendoc were classed as drought. These areas, also impacted by last November's devastating bushfires, now join the rest of the region in the drought affected category.

The indicator was designed to give primary producers information to prepare for changing conditions. It determines the severity of drought, if any, by using historic rainfall, soil moisture and plant growth information.

The NSW DPI has determined production for farmers is not limited by climatic conditions. To put this in perspective, an area considered to be in intense drought would have very low ground cover, exhausted soil moisture stores and minimal rainfall in the previous six to 12 months.

This map shows the Mid Coast region remains drought affected. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries.

This map shows the Mid Coast region remains drought affected. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Farmers not impacted by drought are encouraged to prepare for dry periods, build fodder and financial reserves, invest in waster infrastructure and update equipment.

It's a contrasting extreme for drought impacted producers, as many from the Mid Coast would know.

These farmers are encouraged to destock, hand feed core breeders, cart water, seek support services and undertake fire risk planning.

It's safe to assume which pathway farmers would rather choose.

For local farmers, the current status means they should be updating their plans and monitoring the drought status and forecasts.

If the situation worsen (reverting back to drought), they would be encouraged to sell surplus stock, assess costs and fodder reserves.

Statewide, the impacts of drought continue to weaken, highlighted by improved field conditions and production outlooks during autumn.

It's looking much better than this in the Mid Coast local government area. File photo.

It's looking much better than this in the Mid Coast local government area. File photo.

Most of the State is in the early stages of drought recovery while the climate outlook for the final six weeks of winter is positive.

This all depends however on widespread rainfall in the coming months.

The Far West, South East and parts of the Northern Tablelands continue to fare the worst and remain in long-term and intense drought.

Just 13.4 per cent of the State is considered in recovery from drought or drought free.

This story Drought status: We're not out of the woods yet first appeared on Manning River Times.