Current outlook

PIRSA's recent ‘Crop and Pasture Report' identifies the following drought affected areas within South Australia:

  • eastern and western Eyre Peninsula
  • upper North
  • northern Yorke Peninsula
  • Murray Mallee
  • Eastern Mid-North (Eudunda to Worlds End)
  • North-east and north-west Pastoral

Current data identifies more than 4000 farming properties as affected by drought. View map of drought-affected regions (PDF 1.5 MB)

The report reveals that despite sporadic late spring and early summer rainfall events, conditions in several drought-affected regions of the state are not improving.

Producers, related sectors and businesses are feeling the impact of minimal rainfall (over multiple seasons) and poor crop and pasture growth.

The continued dry conditions and forecast of low, or average rainfall, and above average temperatures has resulted in the need for a range of specific drought assistance programs and services to help our farmers and rural communities remain sustainable for the long-term.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), rainfall was very below average for much of southern South Australia. Soil moisture for January was below average across the Nullarbor and across most of the remainder of the South Australia.

BOM's autumn forecast (March to May), released on February 14, indicates warmer than average days and nights are likely for almost all of Australia. For daytime temperatures, the chances of being warmer than median are very high, greater than 80 per cent for most of the mainland. There's no strong tendency towards a wetter or drier than average autumn, with regards to rainfall outlook.

PIRSA is working with industry, Federal and local governments and other agencies and support services to ensure assistance is targeted and effective.

Support is available to those individuals, families and communities who are drought affected. More details are available at:

To talk to someone about what assistance is available please call the drought hotline on 1800 255 556 or contact our Family and Business Support mentors, who can come and speak to you in person.

The Adverse Events Framework

In South Australia, PIRSA's ‘Adverse Events Recovery Framework for Primary Production' outlines the government's approach to determining what support may or may not be required in response to adverse events.

The Framework aligns to the principles of the Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform (IGA) agreed by the Commonwealth, states and territory governments in 2013.

The framework identifies the indicators that are monitored to determine whether the seasonal and associated impacts trigger drought response phases. View more detail about the Framework.

Under the terms of the IGA, state and territory governments no longer issue formal drought declarations. Under the IGA, relevant assistance programs for farmers experiencing drought or hardship are based on individual circumstances.

Dry Conditions Working Group Communique

Page Last Reviewed: 09 Apr 2019
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