Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), is now entirely in drought, officials have confirmed.
A dry winter has intensified what has been called the worst drought in living memory in parts of eastern Australia.
NSW produces about a quarter of Australia’s agricultural output. It was officially listed as “100% in drought” on Wednesday.
The state and federal governments have provided A$576m (£330m; $430m) in emergency relief funding. The money is intended to assist farmers who are struggling with failing crops, water shortages and the cost of feeding animals.
“There isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities,” said NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that the country had become a “land of drought”.
Less than 10mm (0.4in) of rain was recorded in parts of NSW in July, officials said. Drier than normal conditions are forecast in the coming months.