DARLING Downs farmers Lindsay and Joanne Evans have sown their hopes in their winter crop rotation on their 240-hectare property at Jondaryan.
Embracing the outdoor lifestyle, the third generation farmer says the property has come a long way from its former dairy days.
"My father had a small dairy milking on cream and when it turned to bulk milk we got out and I bought the farm and now it's our main source of income," Mr Evans said.
Farming a majority of cotton, Mr Evans said the property's profitability lay in his hay and silage production.
"It's mainly opportunity cropping - I planted 60ha of barley and 20ha of oats in late April and I've just finished planting double crops on cotton ground last week," he said.
Fifty years of research into opportunity cropping has seen Queensland grain growers take on a system which embraces variable seasons and Mr Evans stands by it.
"If the El Nino drought happens then we'll need to just be careful with how we plan the cropping program so we don't find ourselves in disaster, but other than that I don't worry too much about it," he said.
"If you've got some water in the dam, don't overextend the prospects of hoping for rain, just utilise what you've got and then, if it rains and we've got a build up of moisture in the soil, we'll make use of it - go by seasons."
Mr Evans said there were too many vagaries in predicted weather patterns and he had little fear of entering into a cropping season during El Nino years.
"You get a dollop of rain which might run some water and then you might not get anything for three or four months but that gives you the opportunity to grow some fodder and sell it to the people who aren't as lucky and it gives you the opportunity to make a saleable product," he said.
"Making hay or silage also shortens the season and you don't have to take it through to grain which can be stressful, having all that hay on the ground and you're not exposed to the elements waiting for the grain to dry."
Admittedly 'lucky' to have the ability to irrigate his crop, Mr Evans said the rising cost of electricity was a burden on his small operation.
"The cost of electricity is certainly a serious situation for a lot of producers at the moment," he said.
Setting up a series of 26 solar panels of his own fruition on his shed roof and affixing it to the irrigation pump, the grain grower is an avid believer in investing in renewable energy.
"I haven't done the final figures yet, but at a rough estimate I would say the input from the panels is cutting our bill by about 30 per cent, which is significant - I think people should be tapping into it more and more."
Mr Evans will wait patiently for his winter crop but is conservative in his estimates of the outcome.
"We always hope we'll go okay but we've got irrigation here so we can pretty much guarantee we'll get quite a reasonable yield," he said.
"I would be expecting in the order of 9-10 tonnes of silage/acre (25 tonnes/hectare) and about 2-2.5tonnes of hay/acre (5-6t/ha)."
Mr Evans said with the drought still unresolved in many parts of the state and with producers still in dire need of feed, much of his hay would be sold to property owners in the west.
"We had a winter crop last year and a lot of it went to places like Blackall, Tambo and west of Cunnamulla. We cut out the middle man and sell direct to the people who are struggling - and most of our business comes from word of mouth so I haven't had much trouble selling it."
Mr Evans also sells his silage on to nearby dairy farmers.
"We supply to them on a regular basis and it works well because they know they'll get the produce and we know we have a home for it so it certainly takes the pressure off."