When hughie sent down rain by the bucketload in Forbes last year, Peter Grant said he was the "only one crazy enough to put a tractor in the paddock", but his determination has paid off with the success of his first cotton crop.
Mr Grant, planted 140 hectares of 746 and 706 cotton varieties on October 28, when admittedly he "shouldn't have been in the paddock".
"It was too wet to plant but our cut off date was November 6 so I was determined to put it in," he said.
"What should have taken me 36 hours instead took me nearly 100.
"I would plant for 15 minutes then stop, get out the screw driver and scrape mud from the shoots, gauge wheels and press wheels...it was nuts.
"We were nearly at flood time then...it was super wet, everything was mud...you couldn't get onto the paddocks hence why most of the region didn't plant."
He recalls laying in the muddy field at 2am, it was wet and cold.
"I had 13ha to go but I just had it, I thought I was done," he said.
"I kept telling myself to keep going because it would feel good if I finished it. I got it done, but it flooded anyways so I was devastated.
"I started planting at 4:30am Thursday and finished at 2am Monday after spending breakfast, lunch and dinner in the tractor."
Of the two varieties planted, Mr Grant said 706 had the superior yield as it filled better at the top.
"Our yield has been affected.... using the single skip configuration we picked 6.5 bales per hectare but I am amazed by the resilience of the crop," he said.
"The flood tried wiping it out, the weather was far from ideal, we've had four spray drift events and now we're picking."
Of the 140 hectares he planted, 90ha was picked.
"In a perfect world it would have needed another week or two before picking but I didn't want to push our luck," he said.
"People have told me I picked the worst season to do my first crop but I've learnt so much and it is a first for our family so we're really excited.
"A few months ago we were throwing siphons on one paddock while the other was filled with flood water...it was weird.
I'm surprised how well the crop bounced back and I can't wait to get the next lot in."
Mr Grant has grown popcorn, oats, wheat, buckwheat and lucerne but always wanted to give cotton a go.
"I talked to my agronomist two or three years ago about planting cotton and I almost put some in last season but I stuck with popcorn because that is what I am familiar with," he said.
"I thought cotton was much more water dependent that it actually is...if you want a water dependent crop, that is popcorn and maze, it is way worse."
Mr Grant and his wife Sam bought Narreman in 2016 and Otisa in 2018.
"The house was questionable...it was a cheap bargain buy but it had everything we wanted...all the bones were there," he said.
"For years we were always looking for that eighth day in the week or 25th hour in the day.
"I wasn't actually born into farming, I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne, so I am driven to try new things out of curiosity and passion for row cropping.
"If you don't believe in manifestation, maybe I'm living proof there is something in it."
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