AS much of the region recovers from drought, farmers are being urged to keep a close eye on their stock's feed.
The changing of weather conditions can bring risk of disease to stock animals and one of the fastest ways disease can infect animals is through feed.
The conditions have proven to be an ideal learning tool for the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS), which has used many cases as "field laboratories" for disease research.
NSW LLS district veterinarian Shaun Slattery said farmers had reported a spike in diseases in some parts of the region.
"In the first six months of this year, I conducted around 80 investigations which was roughly double the amount I would see in a normal year," Dr Slattery said.
"Also linked to the breaking of the drought, many of the diseases I investigated presented with unusual clinical signs and history.
"It was distressing to see losses of livestock people had invested so much in emotionally.
"One family I visited lost a couple of hundred ewes they had held onto and hand-fed through drought, only to have them die after the rains came."
Among the diseases reported during the six month period were nitrate poisoning from lush pigweed, foot abscess caused by orf infection and Contagious Ophthalmia of sheep.
In a number of cases this caused behavioural changes in sheep and in one case a loss of condition, despite the good season.
Dr Slattery said the region also experienced the highest bush fly numbers he had seen in 30 years as a veterinarian.
"We always have to be vigilant and question whether each animal disease presentation could potentially be a notifiable or Emergency Animal Disease, even if it hasn't been in this part of NSW for many years," he said.
"Every time a district veterinarian goes on-farm, conducts an investigation and excludes a notifiable disease, we are maintaining the good disease control record of NSW and helping to keep markets open."
Tamworth stock agent Mitchell Swain said while he had not heard of too many disease cases, producers should be proactive to avoid an outbreak.
"It can certainly be a bit challenging to adapt feed when coming out of a drought, but most blokes are pretty well on top of it," Mr Swain said.
"The best thing to do is to be proactive, keep an eye on what your stock is eating and react quickly if something goes wrong."