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Growers Dealing with dry times

Dealing with dry times

Key resources and support for growers

This portal has been developed to support growers and the broader horticultural industry through the forecast dry times by providing a suite of resources and information to inform decision making.

For additional information and advice, growers are advised to contact their Peak Industry Body and/or relevant Federal and State Government agencies (many of these are listed on this page).

In September 2023, the Bureau of Meteorology declared that El Niño and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) were underway.

The Bureau stated that warmer and drier conditions would be more likely over spring and summer for parts of Australia, under the influence of these two climate drivers.

Both El Niño and a positive IOD tend to draw rain away from Australia. El Niño events increase the risk of extreme temperature shifts, such as heatwaves and hotter days.

The last time Australia encountered both El Niño and a positive IOD was in 2015.

For a summarised El Niño explanation video, and what it means for the different regions across Australia, click here.

For up-to-date information about the outlook, go to:



Australian Government resources

Drought, disaster and rural support: Programs are available to help prepare for, manage and recover from events such as drought.

Future Drought Fund: Provides secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives. It will help Australian farmers and communities prepare for the impacts of drought.

On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme: The scheme provides rebates to farm businesses to purchase and install critical on-farm water infrastructure.

Regional Investment Corporation: Help to prepare for, manage through, and recover from drought.

Australian Tax Office: Help for primary producers, individuals and businesses affected by drought.

Foundation for Regional Renewal: Small Network Grants for initiatives that assist local people and communities to strengthen social capital and capability to prepare for future droughts.

State resources


NSW Department of Primary Industries Drought Hub

Drought Assistance – Rural Assistance Authority

Southern NSW Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

Southern Queensland and Northern NSW Innovation Hub


Agriculture Victoria – Managing for and during drought

Drought Resilience Adoption & Innovation Hub


Department of Agriculture and Fisheries – drought assistance

Drought Preparedness Grants

Drought Assistance Program

Tropical North Queensland Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

Southern Queensland and Northern NSW Innovation Hub

Western Australia

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development – dry seasons and drought

Future Drought Fund

South West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

Northern Western Australia and Northern Territory Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

South Australia

Department of Primary Industry and Regions

SA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub


Department of Natural Resources and Environment – support for farming businesses and families

Farm Business Resilience Program

Future Drought Fund Programs

Tas Farm Innovation Hub

Northern Territory

SecureNT - droughts

Northern Western Australia and Northern Territory Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Farmers Support Package

Mental health and support

National Farmers’ Federation: Mental Health Resources

Rural Aid

Industry-specific research and resources

Hort Innovation continues to invest strategically in research and development, and other initiatives, focused on water use efficiency, climate impact preparedness and management, and sustainable practices.

On behalf of industry, Hort Innovation is a tier 1 partner in the One Basin CRC which is a focused collaboration developing policy, technical and financial solutions to support and reduce exposure to climate, water and environmental threats in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Many multi-industry and industry-specific investments supported by Hort Innovation have generated relevant insights and outputs to assist growers, including the following:


Case study: Townsville grower refuses to be held back by drought

Communicating innovation in water use to horticultural industries (HG07026)

Australian horticulture's response to climate change and climate variability (AH06019)

Effect of using reclaimed water on soil health and crop sustainability (MT09097)

Fact sheet: Dendrometers and other sensors

Fact sheet: Using sensors to improve water management in horticulture

Webinar recording: Using dendrometers to manage plant stress

Webinar recording: Using sensors to improve water management in horticulture

Soil Wealth Integrated Crop Protection summary of resources (including irrigation management)


Optimising water use of Australian almond production through deficit irrigation strategies (AL08009)

Drought strategies for almonds fact sheet

Better tree performance and water use efficiency through root system resilience (AL13009)

Managing almond production in a variable and changing climate (AL14006)

Almond irrigation best practice management (AL17004)


Factsheet: Water use efficiency in blueberries

Facilitating the development of the Australian berry industries (MT18020)


Citrus drought information package

Citrus drought survival and recovery trial (CT08014)

Helping Murray Valley citrus growers thrive in an ever changing environment by addressing regional and national issues (CT09044)

Dried grape

New rootstocks to improve production and water use efficiency, sustainability and reduce risks of dried grape production (DG12006)

Green cities and nursery

Developing water efficiency in the horticultural market - identifying best practice and leveraging marketing advantage (NY12015)

Which plant where, when and why database for growing urban green space (GC15002)

Champions of climate change media release


PotatoLink webinar recording: Mobile drip irrigation - Dragon Line

PotatoLink fact sheet: Matching irrigation to crop growth

PotatoLink Webinar: Precision ag for the potato industry

PotatoLink online training recording: Weather tools from the Bureau of Meteorology

PotatoLink webinar: Setting up for summer - preparation for potato growers

PotatoLink case study: Irrigation scheduling with IrriSAT


Review of current irrigation technologies (VG14048)

Fact sheet: Using recycled water for vegetables

Fact sheet: Precision agriculture in vegetable production

If you know of other resources worthy of sharing to assist growers experiencing the impact of dry times, please contact