'Never Give Up Hope': Drought-Ravaged Farmers Share Photos Before And After Rain

Farmers across NSW have celebrated the state's recent rain by sharing before and after photos of their drought-ravaged properties. 

One farmer said the drought could be broken in their area if another rain event follows this week’s impressive downpour; however, others missed out altogether.

Fourth generation farmer Steph Stewart had never seen her family properties in the small NSW towns of Tingha and Tenterden so dry.

“We hadn’t had a decent rain fall for about a year and a half,” she told 10 daily.

“We been feeding sheep for months and carting water to run our water slides for six months.”

Most of the dams on their properties were dry until rain finally came through.

Before: The dam before rain had been even lower than this. Image: Steph Stewart
After: Follow-up rain is needed to keep the dam full. Image: Steph Stewart

“I can’t believe how lucky we are,” Stewart said.

“Our biggest dam on the Tingha property is now overflowing and I would say the drought has broken here if we get follow-up rain to keep the grass looking as awesome as it does at the moment.”

Stewart was among a number of other NSW farmers celebrating the recent rainfall by sharing before and after photos in the Facebook group, One Day Closer To Rain.

Here are some of the best:


Before: These farmers say they've waited a long time for rain on their Bingara property. Image: Rhonda King
After: They received 43mm on their Bingara property. Image: Rhonda King


Before: This photo from January 5 shows a dry creek in Yarras, NSW. Image: Mich Hollis
After: "What a difference 83mm over three days can make!" Image: Mich Hollis


Before: A property between Stanthorpe and Inglewood - "What sheep we have left were drinking water out of a trough connected to the house water tank." Image: Ian Schmidt
After: Now the dams, creeks and gullies are somewhat full. Image: Ian Schmidt


Before: Dry conditions meant dust storms were regular on this property. Image: Helen Kay
After: Rain will help keep the dust and important top soil in place. Image: Helen Kay


Before: This Delungra property was completely dry in parts. Image: Heidi Gray
After: This is the difference 70mm can make in 24 hours. Image: Heidi Gray


Before: Cracks were well and truly showing in Markwell. Image: Anne-Marie Barry
After: They received 87.5mm, with the majority falling over just one hour. Image: Anne-Marie Barry

With the drought still so widespread across NSW, not all farmers received relief. One farmer from the town of Yass, Bec Murray, pleaded with the public to not forget about the drought.

"It gets me down," Murray wrote.

“I am so, so, so happy for everyone who is getting rain (it is very refreshing to see it on my screen) but we all need to remember a lot of places have missed out and still struggling.”

Before: Bec Murray's Yass property in 2015.  Image: Bec Murray
After: This is what her property looks like in 2020. Image: Bec Murray

The latest Combined Drought Indicator from the NSW Department of Primary Industry shows no areas in the state are drought free while more than half remains in intense drought.

Featured image: Rhonda King

Video: Vanessa Flaherty "Never give up hope"