The pitter patter of rain was a welcome sound for central Queensland cotton growers at the weekend.
Not all were feeling the same level of optimism though, the result of mixed rainfall throughout the region.
Biloela growers said a lot more rain was still needed before dryland growers could even think about planting, with some reporting only 7mm of rainfall over the last few days.
Growers west of Moura reported between 15 -20mm, but were hoping for further rain to plant more.
Emerald growers were happy to see around 40mm, meaning a short break in their irrigation schedules.
Theodore irrigators expected more rainfall than they got and would now have to irrigate.
Queensland Country Life spoke to three growers in the region to see where they were at.
Greg Hutchinson, who grows cotton near Moura, got around 15mm of rain at his property on Sunday evening.
He said it was great to see rainfall again after he got around 50 or 60mm around two weeks ago, but hoped to see more, with forecasts predicting another 10 to 20mm of rainfall over the week.
"We haven't got any allocation in the river, dams aren't anywhere near full capacity, so everyone is kind of hoping we are going to get a flow-on effect from this."
He said falls of around 10 to 20mm were wonderful to see, but it was just soaking into the ground and not enough to get water runoff into the creek.
"We need a bigger rainfall event over a wider area to actually start to get some water running, it's not going to take much, just a quick two inch downpour over a reasonable area I think to get some water running."
He said growers, including himself, had been holding out from doing their first irrigating since the crops were established about a month ago in the hope the rain predictions would eventuate.
He said while current conditions were perfect for in-crop cultivation and fertiliser applications, a flow in the river was the only thing that could guarantee the crop.
Mr Hutchinson said he and other growers in the area were also holding off from planting more.
"We've potentially got another 1000 hectares we could plant if we actually got some more water and got an allocation."
He said while people had a little bit of carryover water, the period would finish at the end of November.
"At the end of next week we're not going to be able to pump any water out of the river, you'll have to rely on storage."
The fields were prepped and ready to go, but without a flow in the river, it was a gamble whether to plant.
The high cotton prices meant Mr Hutchinson was more likely to take the risk and potentially sacrifice some of the current crop to get more cotton in the ground.
He said he was confident he could still grow a good crop if planted in early December, as long as the rain came by February to March.
Kim Stevens works with growers in the Dawson region through CottonInfo and grows cotton at her own family farm in Bilolea.
As of Monday morning she had only seen about 7mm of rainfall at the property.
She said dryland growers in the region needed a lot more rain, "to even think about planting", but had up until December 31 to plant.
Ms Stevens said irrigators in her area also desperately needed rain as they didn't have much water in their systems to get them through past Christmas.
"We need good, running water to actually even get our irrigators to a good crop.
"Everyone is relying on these systems to come through, because even the irrigators are pushed for water."
She said growers relying on water fed from the Dawson River needed the river to run to be able to pump as all they had was water they were able to pump before the water year ended in September.
"Unless they get a good couple of 100mm above in the catchment, they are going to be out of water very soon."
She said if rain didn't fall in the catchment areas it would be a "real worry" for growers.
She thought that while growers could likely hold on if the rain continued, crops would still experience stress in the case of heat waves in between rainfall events.
Graham Volck, Emerald
In Emerald, Graham Volck was more slightly optimistic after having around 40 to 45mm of "gentle, soaking rain" at the family's properties.
"That's probably the most rain we've had for at least six months," he said.
The forecast meant Mr Volck delayed starting an irrigation on his cotton crops, which were well-established and had been flowering for a while already.
"It has definitely bought us some time, based on the forecast we're thinking there will be more later this week, so it's definitely given us a break from irrigating."
He said the rain had saved them water and it was great to enjoy some mild weather for a change considering the cotton plants had a reasonably tough start, with very windy, dry, and hot conditions.
He thought while it was not enough rain to change their allocation from 50 per cent, the rain had given growers a sense of relief and hope for the oncoming season.
"It's just positive given all the talk of El Nino.
"It's a nice start to the wet season and it's given everybody a bit of a break from all the doom and gloom from the weather bureau."
Overall, he said cotton was producing well in the area and growers were happy with good prices holding up.
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