RECENT rain has helped boost the confidence of Gunnedah area farmers but experts warn there is still a chance some farmers may go the entire year without a crop.
Gunnedah agronomist Matt Roseby said there was “some way to go” before the summer cropping season could go ahead.
“So far in October we have had about 35mm of rain,” Mr Roseby said.
“In my opinion we would need another 100mm to be anywhere close to where we need to be.
“The rain has brought some confidence but we are not there yet.”
Mr Roseby said time was running out for dryland growers to plant a summer crop.
“I would say about 90 per cent of my dryland clients haven’t planted anything yet,” he said.
“Generally we would be looking to plant sorghum by the end of November and the very latest would be around Christmas.
“However, unless we get that additional rain, we won’t be planting anything and attentions will turn to next year’s winter crops.”
Tambar Springs linseed producer Jacqui Donoghue said more rain would be needed to plant anything on her property.
“At the moment we are staring down the barrel of not planting a summer crop,” Ms Donoghue said.
“I think that would probably be a first for us and I dare say a lot of our neighbours as well.
“I could confidently say there is a realistic chance some farmers around us won’t have had a winter crop and now won’t have a summer crop.
“I imagine that would probably be a first for the region, which goes to show how bad this drought really is.”
Mr Roseby said only time would tell if there was going to be dryland summer crops in the region.
“I know the irrigators will have something in, which is a positive,” he said.
“However, the dryland farmers are really relying on more rain.
“Here’s hoping we get some more rain soon.”