An advisor to the New South Wales agriculture minister says drought funding announced last week for the north-west of the state has come at a crucial time.
Dry weather continues to push parts of far west New South Wales closer to drought, and for some the drought has already arrived.
Chair of the NSW agriculture minister's advisory committee on seasonal conditions, David Palmer, says Bureau of Meteorology data, such as rain tallies and soil moisture, is used to determine if an area is in drought.
But he says going out and seeing it first hand is vital to determining what is happening on the ground.
"There is absolutely no substitute for field intelligence.
"You can apply all the science, but without that field intelligence and raw understanding of what really is happening in the bush, your picture is not complete."
© ABC 2013
15:01 EDT A cyclone and potential cyclone are expected to bring heavy rain to north Queensland and the Gulf country in coming days.