The New England region is continuing its slow recovery from the worst drought in history, according to the latest DPI statistics.
The Department of Primary Industry's Combined Drought Indicator shows for the first time that part of region is out of drought.
For the first time in years, some 6.1 per cent of the area is marked as 'non-drought', the highest possible level, while 4.4 per cent is considered 'recovering', one level down, according to the DPI tool.
All told, 10.5 per cent of the area is in the top two DPI categories.
Last month's statistics showed every inch of the region was drought affected, the middle category of the five.
That was itself an improvement on earlier in 2020, and a massive improvement on 2019.
At the height of last year's historically low rainfall year, 100 per cent of our region was classed as in "intense drought", the worst category.
As late as April more than 10 per cent of the region was classed as in drought.
But as some parts have improved in the July assessment, other areas in New England have slid back into drought.
Some 0.8 per cent of our region is currently considered in 'drought' with 0.4 per cent in 'intense drought'.
That's because part of the area on the Queensland border in the northern part of the Moree Plains and Gwydir local government areas has gone backwards in the last month.
DPI uses three indicators - rainfall, soil water and plant growth - to judge the severity of drought across NSW.