It's been a "disappointing" harvest for the region's cotton farmers, a local grower and agronomist have said.
Breeza's John Hamparsum planted only half of what he normally would and used up half of his water allocation because "the soil profile was dead dry from the last crop", with only 38mm of rain from April 2018 to August 2018.
"We pre-irrigated all of the fields, which used a lot more of water then we normally would in a year - about double, which meant we had to cut back quite substantially because we were only on groundwater this year," he said.
"We've had a 70 per cent cutback on our groundwater allocation [and] we had no help from any rainfall [so] the cotton ended up not getting much water."
Mr Hamparsum said picking would normally be starting about mid-April, but the crop came in early because it "ran out of water".
"It was disappointing all 'round," he said.
"The yields have been lower than what we'd hoped. It's been a tough season. I'm looking forward to things turning around soon, I hope."
You can't farm dust.John Hamparsum
Agronomist Matt Roseby said most cotton growers had cut back on their irrigated crops and "the water was extremely tight this year".
"A lot of dryland paddocks were plowed back into the ground due to the hot, dry summer," he said.
"Some of the irrigated paddocks are coming off quite well but, where water was limiting, the yields are below average."
Only 93mm has fallen at Drayton since January, with a fall at the end of March accounting for 50mm of the total. Before the drought took hold last year, the average rainfall from January to mid-April was 200mm.
"We started off behind the eight ball and never really caught up. We had no rain in the summer that was of any use," Mr Hamparsum said.
Before the March deluge, the Mooki River, which runs through Drayton, was dry for more than six months - something Mr Hamparsum's father hadn't seen in the 58 years the property has been in the family.
"It's the first time in history since we've been here that the Mooki had no waterholes from Caroona down to Gunnedah," Mr Hamparsum said.
Though the Mooki is flowing again, "there won't be a winter crop" at Drayton unless there's a decent downfall - and it has been more than a year since crop produced an income.
"We'd need a good 3.5-4 inches of rain to give us a reasonable profile to give you the comfort to go forward," the farmer said.
"You can't farm dust."