From the get go, it has been a luck of the draw for grain growers across the state with not many dealt a good hand of cards.
After hail, minimal in-crop rain and a dry finish, Peter, Campbell and Charmaine Cook, Barana, Coolah, did not expect to wrap up harvest with a royal flush.
Following a wet season last year which saw yield pull back three or four tonne per hectare, the Cook family planted 277ha of Lancer wheat into black self-mulching soil on May 21 with hopes of doing better, and that they did.
"We had some hail damage and still managed to average just under 5.3 t/ha overall but in one particular area of long fallow we were pushing 7t/ha," Peter Cook said.
"Majority of it also had a protein of 11.5 percent to 12.5pc which was very pleasing as it was all SFW1 feed.
"The yield has been terrific and we've certainly exceeded our expectations which is great."
CRT Haynes Farm Hardware agronomist Tyler Austin said he thought the crop would go well, but not nearly as good as it did given the current seasonal conditions.
"In our region we've seen stuff that has been complete failures as well as other stuff that is up there with the Cook's although not quite as good in the average," he said.
"Anyone who was organised and sowed during the right time went okay but if you missed that May sowing anything later struggled as we didn't get much rain in June or July."
Prior to sowing, 400 kilograms of urea was applied in April followed by 80kg of starter fertiliser.
"We had a really good germination with no pre-emergent required and only one in-crop broad leaf spray," Mr Austin said.
"Although we came across Russian wheat aphid which is the first time we've really sprayed for them in this area.
"We managed to knock them down with a beneficial friendly in early September without any further issues."
Mr Cook said it was a big plus putting fertiliser on as it was definitely worthwhile in the end.
"Some people whinge about putting fertiliser on but you've got to do it to get the yield," he said.
"When it pays off, it is certainly worthwhile as it is hard to get protein with yield."
During flowering, Mr Cook said he received 26 millimetres of rain.
"If we missed that rain window, things might have been a bit different," he said.
"It probably saved our backside."
However as patchy in-crop rain left varied yields across NSW, Mr Cook said he spent pre-harvest sitting on the fence unsure whether grain or hay would be the more profitable avenue.
"We cut 40ha for hay because at the time we thought it might have been worth more money but when the weight came out it went a lot better than we thought it would and the grain was more profitable," he said.
To add to their expectation exceeding season the Cook's took home the top prize at the Coolah show for the AgShowNSW Dryland Field Wheat Competition, making this year's harvest event sweeter.