The rural charity’s CEO John Warlters said thousands of farmers were already managing their land with a view to drought, but this announcement made that approach all the more important.
“The past drought was regarded as the worst in living memory for the majority of the country, and it’s understandable that many farmers are scared of going through that again,” Mr Warlters said.
“We’re encouraging farmers to reach out and register with Rural Aid now.”
Rural Aid offers primary producers a range of free assistance measures including financial, hay, drinking water, counselling and volunteer assistance.
“We’ve already seen a huge increase in requests for emergency hay and household drinking water from farmers right across the country,” Mr Warlters said.
“In the past four months, requests to Rural Aid for emergency drinking water have increased by 240 per cent, and our free water tank offer was exhausted in just four hours with more than 95 applications. We’re aiming to deliver another 50 water tanks by the end of this year to meet demand.
“This El Nino declaration is a particularly upsetting moment for our farmers. It means conditions are likely to get worse before they get better.
“I’m encouraging farmers who are finding themselves overwhelmed to give our rurally-based counselling team a call for a free chat, to make sure they’re in the best possible position they can be to take on the upcoming seasons.”
Farmers can register online at or by calling 1300 327 624. Rural Aid’s counsellors are available on 1300 175 594.