Local Land Services is asking NSW landholders to complete an annual land and stock return, even if not carrying any stock. Many farmers will have destocked or agisted completely under the current drought conditions and may be unsure about whether to lodge a return or not. Their data is still an important piece of the state’s livestock picture and vital in managing emergencies such as fire, flood and disease outbreaks. Local Land Services acting statewide Chair, Susan Madden, said the organisation is working closely with the state’s drought-affected farmers and conscious the return comes at a tough time for many. “We understand many farmers are managing challenging drought conditions and have sold or agisted their stock off-property,” Ms Madden said. “Filling in an annual land and stock return may be confronting in these conditions. However, we still ask for your support; your information is still an essential part of the state’s land use and livestock picture. “This information helps us go directly to the people whose land or stock may be most affected in an emergency.” The stock numbers provided are also used to determine the animal health rate and meat industry levy components of landholders’ 2019 rates notices. “Landholders who don’t lodge their return are automatically charged with the animal health rate and meat industry levy,” Ms Madden said. “All landholders with rateable land or a property identification code need to lodge a return by 31 August 2018.” Landholders can mail back their completed form or complete online at www.lls.nsw.gov.au.