Prospects for the region's grain crops are in the balance following last week's rainfall, with the decision whether to bale or harvest put off for at least a couple of weeks in most areas.
Growers say that despite severe drought to the north and west of the Cootamundra region, there's still potential for a good season here, with some canola seed already developing oil content, and wheat coming on OK.
The district had around 14mm of rain late last week, which has kept crops growing despite less than half the average rainfall in August and July. However pastures are not doing well, with lucerne less than a quarter of the height it would be normally.
At "Sunnyvale" just south of Stockinbingal a wheat crop close to trees tells the story. Plants next to the tree line were browning off because of the competition for water, whereas in an optimum season there would be enough moisture for both trees and grain.
"Things aren't back to what they normally are but most growers are still in a pretty reasonable position," said Landmark agronomist Mark Golder.
"We're lucky in our area, but you don't have to drive far north or west to find country in the grip of drought, and everything depends now on what happens after this.
"As the weather warms up and the days get longer that's when most of the crops and pastures will start to use their moisture.
"It's not too far out when the wheat puts out a head and starts to fill the grain and the moisture requirements will increase dramatically."
Stockinbingal farmer Richard Eberle said now was the "critical stage".
"These crops look a lot better this time of year compared to last year," Mr Eberle said.
"We can see the potential but you're also aware it can turn at the drop of a hat.
"The thing that kills it is once you start getting some winds you can see it drying up overnight, literally, it just unbelievable.
"Things have freshened up a lot since that bit of rain. And at least we've got options - if it does turn to crap we can cut it to hay. There's a lot of other people, as close as West Wyalong, who haven't got the bulk there to cut it to hay and they're putting stock onto crops."
Cootamundra received above average autumn rainfall, but only 100mm over winter, compared with an average 164mm.
The Bureau of Meteorology holds out hope of some showers from a cold front next week. BOM's longer range forecast is for below average spring rainfall and above average daytime temperatures with increased fire risk in the southeast due to a positive Indian Ocean dipole being the main influence.
Stock are faring well despite poor pasture growth, but Mr Golder says it could be a "long tough summer" without extra spring growth, especially in the hills around Muttama and Coolac which were quite bare over last summer.