Irrigators are in the driver's seat this season, with full dams in the upper state's catchments and a promise of less pest pressure due to the dry weather.
For the Humphries family on Caroale via Moree, they have an added advantage of retaining 100 per cent their carry-over water allocation.
For fifth-generation Mick Humphries, a tried and true summer rotation between sorghum and cotton is going into black soil ahead of a promising season.
"We used to grow more wheat, but we find the sorghum gives a better disease break. It's a better fit for soil borne diseases like Verticillium," says Mr Humphries.
For some northern growers, last summer's crops proved around average in terms of irrigation, with little rain after December leading in some cases to 10 irrigations before harvest.
At Caroale a flood at planting in early October filled up the storages.
"We believe this will be a good season," Mr Humphries says. "In a drier year we can control the cotton crop more. There is generally less pest pressure.
The Chesney Partnership diversifies its water-taking, with access to Lower Gwydir ground water and flows from Carole Creek via Copeton Dam - sitting at 88 per cent full.
"Last season went from wet to dry really quick," says Mr Humphries, who farms with a team of five.
"I think we are in for a hot spring, so we spread the risk of heat stress at flowering by using different varieties to spread out the flowering window."
Sorghum seed in the ground now, with sowing going on since mid September, includes Resolute and A88 with some Bazley working together to maximise the flowering window in December. Cotton is being planted from early October and watered up.
"We tailor our fertiliser to what we need," Mr Humphries says, noting the farm's blend contains a MAP/potash blend and urea.
Sorghum has been quite profitable the last two seasons, with the quality attracting export demand from China.
"We rely on export sales for top end premiums," Mr Humphries says. "Domestic demand can fluctuate depending on the season."
Given the surety of flood irrigation with the likelihood of reduced pressure from pest and disease in a dry summer, the outlook is good.
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