Cotton is off to a steady start, but after the cool, wet start last year many growers in the Riverina were pleased to plant on time and see it emerge.
Southern Valley Cotton Growers Association president Joe Briggs said there had been about 82,000 hectares planted in the Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and Murray valleys, just less than the 90,000ha record in 2019.
Mr Briggs said it had been a challenging start for many growers with fluctuating temperatures, and he estimated there had been about 10 per cent replant in the south with the rain causing water logging issues for some.
"The temperature had been good, then we've had cold snaps pop through so it's been a lot of stop start and trying to get it watered before the cool fronts come through," he said.
"But we're definitely a lot further in front than last year so the dry conditions have helped.
"Water availability is good and hopefully drier conditions from now on in. There's still a lot of positivity in the season."
On his own farm at Coleambally, Mr Briggs planted 289ha of varieties 606 and 714 at three different times from September 28 to October 23, and had to replant 48ha.
"It is all looking really well what has come up," he said.
He was hopeful for the rain forecast for this week to also join up with the soil moisture.
"The top is drying out a little bit quick which is normal this time of year, but if that rain comes through it should keep everything ticking along really nicely and we won't have to water until late into November," he said.
Mr Briggs said growers had been planting until November 13 last year with the eventual yields not ideal.
"Every year I'll say we'll get it next year, so hopefully this is the year we'll get it," he said.
"Everything is indicated towards a better season and fertiliser prices are back. Cotton prices are fairly strong, we've just got to get it to yield."
At Gogeldrie Nick Ronfelfdt planted 100ha on his own property and another 350ha on the property he manages, Stotts Farming.
This included varieties 746, 714, and a small amount of 606, in different timed blocks throughout September.
"This was the first year we've had everything sown before the first of October," he said.
"In hindsight I should have had a crystal ball and sown everything in the second week of September and watered it all in the third week of September and we would've hit that heat.
"The stuff I did plant then and water then hit the heat and powered out of the ground."
Mr Ronfeldt had to replant about 30ha of one block which was planted towards the end of September and was affected by the rain and cold temperatures.
"This year was supposed to be the easy year," he said.
"We all bought water and had it all ready to go. October comes along and we've got everything and it goes cold and wet.
"At least planting this year was a bit easier - no bogging planters or tractors or unpacking mud so could leave the paint scraper in the toolbox for a change."
He said they had planted a smaller cotton crop this year, after going hard on their winter crop program with durum and a hard wheat.
However, Mr Ronfeldt said the season remained promising.
"It is still shaping alright now with a few warm days coming - we just need consistency," he said.
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