Below-average yields and a lot of crops baled, especially canola, have been the result of this season's low rainfall in the Cootamundra district.
Harvesting is due for early completion, with most of it over by the end of this week and virtually all finished by the end of next. There have been some reasonable wheat results, with yields of 2-3 tonnes not uncommon east of Coota.
Rainfall of up to 15 mm in the first days of December interrupted harvest but were not enough to have any detrimental effect on grain quality, Nutrien (formerly Landmark) agronomist Mark Golder told the Herald this week.
Mr Golder said yields of 2-3 tonnes per hectare were the norm east of Cootamundra, falling to 1.5 tonnes for grazing crops.
"West of Coota around Stockinbingal most harvests have been 1-2 tonnes, with a larger proportion of both canola and cereals cut for hay," Mr Golder said.
"Out Temora way there was almost no canola went through to harvest."
The economic impact of this season's low rainfall has been nowhere near as serious as in severely drought-stricken areas to the north and west, and Mr Golder said most grain growers should at least break even, with the grain price still reasonable.
"The biggest fall in income would be canola, with the combination of lower yields and many crops not harvested at all," he said. "The feed situation is probably where most people are going to be struggling.
"If there's no repetition of last year's substantial rains in late December and January it's going to be a long tough summer.
"There's not a lot of paddock feed, with pastures especially doing it quite tough."
Animals are now feeding on stubbles, which will take some pressure off pastures in the short term, he said.
There has been a slight increase in the amount of barley grown in the area over the past year.
"It's been the crop that's performed reasonably well recently, it does seem to handle the dry years - unlike oats which have provided some reasonable grazing but there's been very little harvested, which could be a problem for farmers wanting to sew fodder crops next year."
One positive aspect of the lack of rain has been very little germination of weeks, with Paterson's Curse appearing a big but nothing like in its worst years.
After a Christmas break farmers will be pre-planning and hoping for early rain as they put in early grazing crops for livestock in mid January to February.
When the Herald visited The Willows, around 10km east of Cootamundra, on Wednesday we found contractor harvesters Jeff Davies and Brad Betts hard at work bringing in the wheat harvest on paddocks off the Old Gundagai Road.
Mr Davies operates Bonnydoon Ag Services, named after his property out Grenfell way, near Ben Hall's Cave.
Operating his Case/International Harvester 9240 combine harvester he was surprised to find yields well over 3 tonnes per hectare on some stretches of the paddock, leased by James Baldry.
The US-built Case IH combine is a high-tech machine costing more than three quarters of a million new these days, with an air-conditioned cabin that makes it a pleasure to work in.
"On hot summer days this cabin can be the best place to be, listening to the cricket," Mr Davies said, "it's not much fun if there's a breakdown, but fortunately we rarely have a breakdown with this machine."