Bingara farmer Nicole Wilson says the drought is far from over, despite good rainfall

After more than three years without a successful crop on her family farm in Bingara, and with all the dams dry for the first time ever, Nicole Wilson wrote a desperate message in one of those dry dams - 'SOS please rain'.

"I didn't want to highlight the drought in a way that someone else had, so I thought I would do it in a different way to everyone else," she said.

"Being on the side of the road that is very popular with traffic, it was an ideal location for many people to witness and experience the feelings and emotions of the drought."

That message was written in December 2019 after her family property had received only 165 millimetres for the entire year - half of the previous year's 325mm total.


"At the middle of December when I painted the dam, all the dams on mum and dad's property were dry for the first time ever," Ms Wilson said.

Now, the dams are no longer dry following good rainfall in January and February, however Ms Wilson said the drought is far from over and for many, like her family, it will take years to fully recover.

"This drought has not been a fair or easy ride for my dad, my family or any farmer," she said.

"Dad has not had a successful crop for over three years now. He has been on the road, with his cattle, feeding on the side of the road for over nine months now and hand-feeding every day for the past 20 months.

"My dad is also an owner and operator of a small business and unfortunately this business has been shut since September 2018 due to the drought - that's nearly one and a half years of being non-operational and not having a second source of income for our household.

"People say 'you should've prepared better for this drought', but there is only so much you can do to prepare yourself for a drought. And a drought of this long length is unimaginable. My dad did prepare for this drought, prepared more than any other drought before, but still, no-one thinks that a drought would go on for several consecutive years like it has, and still it's not over."

Fortunately, prior to this year's rain, Mr Wilson had ploughed the soil which helped the rain soak into the ground instead of running off and now the Wilsons, like most farmers in the region, are waiting for follow-up rain in the hopes of planting a successful winter crop this year.