The fields around Wagga are turning to gold as canola crops spring into bloom.
Despite a dry July for much of the region, with promising soil moisture profiles and bursts of rain over the past several days farmers are hopeful this year will again be a good one.
Canola grower Rob Gollasch has about 600 hectares of canola in the ground at his Wallacetown farm Araglen and is optimistic on the back of recent conditions.
"It's looking good," Mr Gollasch said.
"I think the mild conditions we had in July helped the crop a lot [because] it's done very well and put on some good growth."
The crops are now starting to glow a golden hue, but it will be another week or two before they are in full bloom.
In further good news, Mr Gollasch said the yield is also looking promising.
"We have good subsoil moisture and while we'll still need a little more rain to finish it off properly, let's hope El Nino doesn't bite too hard," he said.
While the outlook is positive now, Mr Gollasch did have an early scare after slugs proved a major hazard, devouring up to 10 per cent of some paddocks.
"Unfortunately we had to resow parts of three to four paddocks because they wiped the crop right out [in places]," he said.
To date, the farm rain gauge has recorded 255mm this year, which Mr Gollasch said is slightly below average, but he's hopeful the season will wrap up well.
Riverina Local Land Services agronomist Geoff Minchin said canola crops across the region are looking good with quite a few in bloom.
"The season is pretty much on track and while the soil moisture profiles have been drying up over the last few weeks, we've still got plenty of subsoil moisture under a lot of crops, so we should be okay for the moment," Mr Minchin said.
He said a further 25mm to 50mm of rainfall in season should wrap up the season nicely.
But while the crops are looking in tip top shape, he said it hasn't all been plain sailing with farmers struggling to source a critical product.
"Our biggest challenge this year has been sourcing urea," Mr Minchin said.
NSW Farmers Wagga branch chair Alan Brown said the urea shortage will have an impact crop yields.
Many farmers rely on urea as a vital source of nitrates to feed and grow their canola and cereal crops.
"Those who needed urea were struggling because they couldn't get it," Mr Brown said.
"A lot of urea comes from Russia, but there is bit of a worldwide shortage and with limited supply, we're a long way from [Russia] so we struggle to get it [here]."
Mr Brown argued it was a good reason Australia should take a "strategic" approach and produce its own essential fertilisers such as urea.
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