Rural Aid encourages farmer registrations as El Nino is declared

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters
10th Oct 2023

Australia’s most trusted rural charity is encouraging farmers to reach out for assistance following the Bureau of Meteorology officially declaring an El Nino event. The El Nino weather pattern means hot, dry seasons that trend towards drought.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the Bureau’s announcement confirmed many producers’ fears. “The announcement of the El Nino weather pattern will bring a lot of unwelcome memories to the surface for our farmers, who’ve been anxiously watching land and waterways dry up,” Mr Warlters said.
“Thousands of farmers are already managing their land with a view to drought, but this announcement makes 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. We’re encouraging farmers to reach out and register with Rural Aid now.
“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.
“Rural Aid helps farmers with hay, drinking water, financial assistance, counselling and volunteers; all at no cost to our primary producers, thanks to the generosity of the Australian public and our corporate partners.
“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,” Mr Warlters comcluded Primary producers are urged to register online at or by calling 1300 327 624. Rural Aid’s counsellors can be reached at 1300 175 594