Below-average winter rain and a dry start to spring have had a devastating impact on the Riverina's farmers, as the drought tightens its grip on southern NSW.
Alan Brown, from the Wagga branch of NSW Farmers, said the drought was "closing up fast".
"Crops people thought they had a couple of weeks ago, they no longer have. Wheat doesn't seem to be doing very well, although there is some barley around," Mr Brown said.
"Some farmers are putting sheep and cattle on their crops or cutting what they can for hay."
Last week, Temora Shire was one of 13 local government areas to be allocated $1 million in federal government drought assistance.
Mayor Rick Firman said the council was "fully aware that over the past month crops across our shire have deteriorated even further".
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"Although I am ever the optimist, the reality is the prospects for a reasonable harvest this year are looking bleak. This obviously not only affects our farming sector, but also our small businesses right across the shire," Councillor Firman said.
"The general manager and I [recently] went on a tour of the north-west of the shire. Councillor Nigel Judd from Ariah Park took us.
"To be frank, it was heartbreaking to see some of the crops barely up to halfway up your shin.
"Then you're talking to these farmers and they're saying besides praying for rain - even at this late stage it might help fill some wheat and barley heads - is that they want our main streets in Temora and Ariah Park to be thriving, looking good. That's part of their escape.
"That's why with this $1 million drought stimulus package, council will obviously have a workshop on it and how we go about allocating that and ensuring every single cent is spent in the shire."
Cr Firman, who owns a clothing store in Temora's main street, said business had become quieter in recent months.
"Retail, after agriculture, is the second biggest employer in our shire," he said.
"That's where bank managers are going to be more important than ever before and I would like to think that they will continue to stand by our farming sector, but while the farming sector is doing it really tough, it's the small business sector too.
"But we have to try to continue giving people hope because things will turn around. It is going to rain, good times are going to come back," he said.
"We've got to keep believing that, but in the meantime, we've got to continue to be there for each other and keep reminding each other [some are] a lot worse off than us, like our cousins up north."
Like Cr Firman, NSW Farmers vice-president Chris Groves is encouraging rural people to keep an eye on their neighbours.
"I just want people to start thinking about their neighbours, start thinking about the farming community, because over the last couple of weeks, and in the next couple of weeks, there's some major decisions being made: Things like mowing your canola crops or turning the sheep in on them, deciding that 'we spent $100,000 putting our crop in and we're getting nothing back'," Mr Groves said.
"So just ring up your neighbours and ask them how they're going. Ring someone you think might be doing it a bit tough and ask 'are you all right'?"
Mr Groves farms at Cowra, where conditions have been bleak for some time.
"We're just mowing wheat at the moment because it's not going to make it. The sheep have gone on to the canola and we've made a little bit of silage out of it," he said.
"We're in an area that hasn't had any major rainfall events since 2017. It's just extraordinary for this district.
"A neighbour of ours was only saying the other night he hasn't written more than 18 millimetres in one 24-hour period on his rain chart since December of 2017.
"The soil is dead dry. The crops got through on the few showers we got during winter but now they are just dying.
"There's guys here with soil moisture probes in that monitor it and the soil probes are reading zero at the moment, and that the first time ever. There's just nothing.
"Businesses are all very quiet, they're doing it very tough at the moment. We've lost one major engineering firm in Cowra. There was just not enough work coming in the door."
When it comes to drought assistance, responsibility has traditionally been divided between the federal and state governments.
The rough rule of thumb is that the federal government looks after the people, while the infrastructure and livestock have been the remit of the states.
Last week, the federal government extended the drought community program - which provides grants of $1 million - into 13 additional local government areas, including Temora Shire.
But organisations like NSW Farmers, the National Farmers' Federation and the Country Women's Association are warning that much of the drought assistance is missing its mark.
The CWA even went as far as writing to Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals Leader John Barilaro with suggestions on how to help rural business - those that traditionally rely on farmer spending - survive the drought.
Alan Brown said the problem was that there was no "one size fits all" approach for helping farmers.
"The problem with assistance is that every farmer is different. Some have got a huge debt load and will struggle to get another crop in. Others have well-established livestock herds. The needs are as individual as people are," he said.
A central website - www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au - has information on the assistance available to farmers and rural communities.
Now in NSW, the Legislative Assembly committee on investment, industry and regional development has started an inquiry into support for drought-affected communities.
When businesses close down and move elsewhere, the community also suffers through loss of employment and services, committee chairman, Member for Albury, Justin Clancy said.
The Committee is currently inviting submissions from all levels of government, organisations, businesses, industries, community groups, universities and the public. Submissions close on November 29.
Further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, can be obtained by visiting the committee's website.