Australia's most populous state was declared entirely in drought on Wednesday and struggling farmers were given new authority to shoot kangaroos that compete with livestock for sparse pasture during the most intense dry spell in more than 50 years.
NSW produces about a quarter of Australia's agricultural output.
The State Government has announced more than $1 billion in drought relief measures, including transport subsidies, waivers on farming costs, increasing the Farm Innovation Fund, animal welfare measures and mental health support.
One of the driest winters on record has led to water shortages and diminishing food for stock across the state and Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said producers were facing "very hard decisions".
This year's rainfall in the state has been the lowest total since 1965, Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries' Combined Drought Indicator has revealed 38.7 per cent of NSW is now drought-affected, 38.2 per cent is in a drought, and 23 per cent of the state is suffering through an intense drought.
The problem isn't confined to NSW.
The money is meant to assist farmers who are struggling with failing crops, water shortages and the cost of feeding animals. The lack of food for animals has resulted in farmers being forced to ship in grain or hay from other parts of the country to keep sheep and cattle alive, spending thousands of extra dollars each week just to get by, while others have had to shoot starving animals. "You turn up here because you've got to turn up".
"Many farmers are taking livestock off their paddocks, only to then see kangaroos move in and take whatever is left - this is the last thing any farmer needs at the moment", Blair said. Nearly 20,000 eligible people are yet to apply for the grant.
Much of Australia's southeast is struggling with drought.