Thursday, September 12, 2002. Posted: 09:34:42 (AEDT)

Worsening drought pushes NSW farmers to sell

The latest drought figures for New South Wales have been released, showing worsening conditions across the state, including the south-east.

Officials have now official declared 86 per cent of the state drought-affected.

The figures for September have put Braidwood, the southern half of the Goulburn and the south-west corner of Moss Vale rural protection areas in drought.

The remaining Moss Vale area, taking in the southern highlands, Illawarra and Shoalhaven have been declared to be in marginal drought, joining the entire south coast.

Bob Stapleton from the Braidwood rural protection board says the declarartion will do little to help local farmers, because they officially have to be in drought for six months before they are eligible for any financial assistance from the Government.

"I think the best main advice would be just sell - sell your animals before they get too skinny," Mr Stapleton said.

"Only 2 per cent of the state is now satisfactory for agricultural production," he said.

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