Long-term rainfall trends, strategies for when the season breaks, the value of managing on-farm costs, available financial support and how to talk about debt with your bank manager were some of the key topics covered at the Grains Research and Development Corporation's (GRDC) Dealing with the Dry forum in Nevertire.
An initiative of the GRDC the forums were organised in response to calls from grain growers requesting practical advice about how to manage dry conditions on-farm.
The forums were held at Peak Hill, Condobolin, West Wyalong, Lake Cargelligo, Spring Ridge, Nevertire and Coonamble last week.
Nevertire grain grower Heather Druce from "Idlewilde" said the forum had provided valuable insights into what people could do to put themselves in the best position to make it through tough times.
She said at the Nevertire forum, one of the key presentations was by Delta Agribusiness agronomist Graeme Callaghan, who discussed the management of dry conditions and effective decision making, and looked at regional long-term rainfall data.
Mr Callaghan's overview of historic rainfall records from central western NSW showed the current dry period was similar to the drought years experienced in the area during the early 1900s.
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often looks very similar and I am cautiously optimistic that is the case in terms of some weather patterns so hopefully we will see a return to better conditions soon," Mr Callaghan said.
GRDC Grower Relations Manager Susan McDonnell said the feedback from those attending the forums had been "very positive".
"These forums have been about bringing communities together and offering support and advice on some really challenging topics, including what government support might be available depending on your situation," Mrs McDonnell said.
"As growers we all know our long-term business goals have been put on hold due to our income changes with the drought, so this is about understanding the different ways we can effectively manage our debt and limited cash flow while planning for the future.
"But importantly we also need to be well prepared and position ourselves to identify and take advantage of any opportunities that arise."