As the state's farmers are pouring every dollar into feeding their animals, 'disgraceful' thieves have stolen in excess of $150,000 worth of fodder.
In the last 12 months there has been 31 incidents of fodder stolen (grain and hay) across the state valued at more than $150,000.
Of the fodder stolen there were 17 incidents in the western region and 11 in the southern region.
Fodder has been stolen from paddocks and honesty boxes but the latest involving donated hay taken from a showground in the state's north west has been described by police as 'disgraceful" and branded a "low act".
The Rural Crime Prevention Team is investigating the theft of 100 small bales of lucerne hay taken from the Tenterfield Showground between the March 1 and 4.
The hay had been donated to the Tenterfield Lions Club to be distributed to bushfire victims from the recent Wallangarra bushfire.
“Whilst the act of stealing is a low act, this theft takes it to a whole different level. We are committed to catching these criminals and placing them before the court," State Rural Crime Coordinator Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside said.
“The hay has a monetary value of approximately $3,000, however you can’t really put a monetary value on this as it is priceless to the farmer that it was intended for.”
In other incidents around the state 140 tonnes of wheat valued at $50,000 was stolen at Boorowa and 49 tonnes of oaten hay square bales worth $14,500 was taken in another region.
Detective Inspector Whiteside said most of the incidents would have been opportunistic while there would have been those that were desperate in these dry conditions.
"It's disgraceful," Detective Inspector Whiteside said.
"You never get surprised in this job and you think you have heard everything but when someone does this (Tenterfield theft), it's seriously wrong."
Anyone with information in relation to hay theft should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.