UPDATE: NEW South Wales farmers have thrown their support behind changes to the state's drought response.
NSW Farmers Association president Fiona Simpson said the new system should ensure farmers facing drought conditions get assistance before the drought bites too hard.
"A lot of things can happen to help farmers before we hit those more severe drought conditions," Ms Simpson said.
Former Meat and Livestock Australia chairman David Palmer will head up a new drought advisory committee.
The Regional Assistance Advisory Committee is a key plank in NSW Agriculture Minister Katrina Hodgkinson's new drought measures.
Ms Hodgkinson said previous drought policies had not helped farmers to prepare for drought risks.
"Under the old systems, farmers had to wait for a district to be drought declred in order for a range of subsidies to be triggered by which stage feed supplies were dwindling, water tanks were low and saleyards were received increased numbers of drought-affected stock,'' Ms Hodgkinson said.
She said the new approach would focus on drought preparedness and risk management programs along with in-drought measures.
The new committee will provide advice to Ms Hodgkinson about effectiveness of Rural Financial Counselling Services, the Rural Support Worker Program, the Special Conservation Scheme, transport subsidies and farm business preparedness programs.
The committee will also oversee the development of new monthly Seasonal Conditions Reports.
The reports will be extended to be Regional Seasonal Condition reports in line with the new Local Land Service regions.
Ms Simpson said she was pleased there was confirmation services such as the Rural Financial Counselling and Rural Support Worker Program would continue.
She also welcomed moves to help farm businesses with drought-preparedness.
"By the time a drought declaration is made its too late for proactive measures to alleviate the problems," Ms Simpson said.
"Timely actin and identifying the need to act as soon as possible is the key."
Ms Simpson said she advisory group would be useful if is gave the Minister input about when to implement drought measures.
Ms Simpson said Seasonal Condtion Reports were welcome if they extrapolated rather than duplicated seasonal forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology.
"We want more than historical data," she said.
"We want a forecast about what is going to happen."