Queensland Drought Situation and Assistance

The Queensland drought situation is ever changing. You’ve come to the right place to find practical information to help you manage your way through dry seasons.

Primary producers can adopt many different risk management strategies to minimise the impacts of drought.

Your best bet is to be informed of what support, tools and information is available.

Above shows the current map of the drought declared shires in Queensland (from The Long Paddock website).  The areas that are shaded represent those that are fully drought declared up to the date displayed.  It also calculates the total area within QLD that is fully drought declared and has statistics of individual drought declared properties.

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) helps primary producers manage their businesses by offering a range of services from livestock nutrition to business management strategies.  In particular, the GrazingFutures Livestock Business Resilience Project supports regional livestock extension teams to provide whole-of-business services to producers.

This includes assisting with:

  • business planning
  • identifying key business risks
  • assessing management options
  • implementing practices to cope with drought and other business challenges
  • accessing new drought support packages (grants and loans).

You can find contact details for your local extension officer here.

Drought assistance in Queensland has been broadened and is open to eligible primary producers to better manage future droughts WITHOUT needing a drought declaration.  The differences between the previous and new drought assistance programs is summarised below.



More information on Queensland’s new drought programs can be found here: Queensland’s New Drought Programs.

For more information on what financial and business support the Queensland Government is offering head over to the Drought grants and assistance page.

Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority

The Queensland Rurual and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA)  is delivering the Queensland Government’s drought grants and loans focused on fostering greater preparedness and business resilience for a broader range of eligible Queensland primary producers.

The programs include:




Future Drought Fund

The Future Drought Fund (FDF) provides secure, continuous funding for drought resilience initiatives, provided by the federal government. It will help Australian farmers and communities prepare for the impacts of drought.

From July 2020, $100 million will be made available each year from the Fund to support Australian farmers and communities to prepare for and become more resilient to the effects of future drought.  The types of support available include:

Help during hard times: Rural financial counsellors, concessional loans and support from the ATO- including tax concessions

Help to prepare and grow: Farm management deposit scheme, concessional loans and tax deductions

This fact sheet has a great summary of the types of support available.

Services Australia

The Farm Household Allowance (FHA) program provides assistance to farming families experiencing financial hardship for any reason, including drought impacts.

Applications and payments are managed by Services Australia.

Call the Farmer Assistance hotline on 13 23 16 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Learn more about Farm Household Allowance or read the FHA factsheets

Having an idea of climatic outlooks and weather conditions may assist you in planning ahead.

Bureau of Meteorology

BOM releases a quarterly climate and long range forecast video which covers rainfall, streamflow and temperature for the next three months.

See the latest outlook from BOM here

More detailed climate information can be found at the BOM climate website

The Long Paddock

The Long Paddock  website provides climate risk information for rural Queensland and has tools to assist in managing your feedbase and land condition.

Here, you are able to access FORAGE reports specific to your property, FORAGE is an online system that generates and distributes, in customised PDF reports, information for rural Lots on Plan greater than 1 hectare in area.

They include:

Indicative Soil Phosphorus
Long-Term Carrying Capacity
Rainfall and Pasture by Land Type
Ground Cover and Regional Comparison Ground Cover reports
Indicative Land Type
Foliage Projective Cover
Fire Scar
Rainfall and Pasture Growth Outlook
Regional Climate Projections
Drought Assessment
Erodible Soils
Australian CliMate App



The FutureBeef website gives you access to the latest practical tools, scientific insights and relevant, timely advice.  You can search for any topic on our website at the top of this page.

A great resource for a beef producers to have is the following publication: Dry season management of a beef business.  This provides you with a guide to planning, managing and supplementary feeding cattle. Click on the image to download a digital copy or alternatively your local DAF extension officer can get you a hard copy.

Educational videos and webinars

The FutureBeef YouTube channel has informative webinars and videos on topics such as:

Meat & Livestock Australia

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) have a range of tools and resources available to help you navigate through dry times, click on the image below to have a look at these.

MLA also has a checklist for drought preparedness, which you can work through at your own pace.