The soil moisture profile is the best ever but the fall-out from last year's difficult chickpea crop will mean many northern farmers will plant wheat on old wheat sowings.
Matthew Madden, Fairfield, about 20km east of Moree, says many farmers have chosen the risk of possible crown rot and nematodes by replanting wheat into wheat as they have been burnt by last year's chickpea crop, some of which went mouldy while much of it still sits on farm, unable to be sold.
About 50 per cent of winter cropping areas have been sown in Moree, but recent wet weather has set back much of the sowing program.
The wet start holds concerns for disease in both cereal and pulse crops - and the added concern of the difficult supply chain for fungicides in the system.
Mr Madden, who is a member of NSW Farmers Grains Committee and a director of Grain Producers Association (GPA), says the growing conditions have never been better.
But many farmers were burnt by last year's chickpea crop.
Chickpeas have become problematic, with mould setting in last year and world container shortages causing supply and export difficulties. Only a few bulk shipments left Australia last year.
Many chickpea crops are still sitting on farm in storages.
Mr Madden is in the same boat, but says he is confident he can move some of his mould-affected chickpeas to stockfeed suppliers and the other top grade chickpeas for export in the next few months.
"Last year's chickpea crop was very hard to sell," he said.
The dilemma has forced some growers to plant wheat into wheat - some for the first time in 20 years.
Mr Madden said the risk was worth it, with possible crown rot issues to the north of Moree and nematode issues to the south.
Farmers were also biting the bullet on high fertiliser costs, approaching $1800 a tonne for urea.
The panacea is that wheat prices are forever rising at the moment due to world supply issues, linked to export issues in the Ukraine and India.
It is almost treble the cost of fertiliser from last year.
"This is a risk many farmers will take. It could be disastrous for farm budgets though if there is a late frost," Mr Madden said.
The input costs are so much higher in many areas, which made the risk rise significantly, he said.
This is a risk (paying high prices for fert) that many farmers will take. It could be disastrous though if there is a late frost.- Matthew Madden, Moree farmer and GPA director.
His wheat plantings will be much higher this year - almost 90 per cent this year of his plantings.
He sowed his Sunblade wheat at 50kg/ha, with 45kg/ha start Z fertiliser, planting zero till into chickpea stubble from last year.
He says his rotations have changed at Fairfield with less chickpeas and no barley.
Mr Madden says about 50 per cent of the winter crop is sown north of Moree.
At Fairfield it was postponed this week after 36mm fell. It will be another week before they can get back in the paddocks.
The first sown areas are just emerging in the paddock.
"The soil moisture is as good as it's ever been," he said.
Mr Madden is hopeful he will sell his chickpeas in coming months. It will be necessary to clear his onfarm silos for future storages.
At Rimanui Farms west of Moree they have kept the same rotations and chickpeas in their planting system.
Farm advisor James Bierhoff said the wet start had concerns for disease in both cereal and pulse crops, with "potential supply issues with fungicides also".
"We have 5000ha of wheat in, roughly 300ha of bread wheat to go and 400ha of durum.
Raider wheat is pictured after chickpea at Rimanui Farms.