OUT in the grain paddocks of the Southern Downs, morale is intricately tied to the seasons, as growers wait anxiously for adequate planting rain.
It's a scenario Guy Sellick is familiar with, both personally and professionally. He is a Back Plains farmer, who knows what it is like to be constantly checking the weather forecast in search of that elusive 50mm.
He also understands the predicament of rural business, having worked in the agricultural sector for decades.
This month, he has relinquished his role of full-time farmer to work for DuPont Pioneer as its new Southern Downs promoter, in a role that ensures he experiences the best of both worlds.
"I do think farmers appreciate dealing with someone, who understands what it can be like," Mr Sellick said.
"A lot of people need at least two inches of rain, before they can consider planting.
"Some places have had reasonable falls in the past week but it hasn't been as widespread as first thought but the rain might have improved morale slightly.
"Lack of rain has been a contributing factor to depressed cattle markets and an ordinary winter crop season, making this, in many ways, a tough year.
"Rural people don't have a lot in reserve - they've had some challenging seasons, without a lot of good times in between."
Yet, he said the optimism of grain growers continued, with many already prepared to plant summer crops.
"Sorghum planting has already started but many farmers are waiting for good rain before putting in corn," he explained.
What was encouraging, Mr Sellick said, was growers' proactive outlook when it came to embracing new products, with the ability to reduce labour and chemical costs.
"A lot of people are considering an immidazolinone-tolerant corn as an option - this is a Clearfield corn that can be sprayed in crop for the control of certain grasses," he said.
"It's just one example of people looking for the best option for their specific circumstances, when it comes to planting."
Speaking at a recent zero till field day organised by the Allora Landcare Group, Mr Sellick said information and knowledge sharing were integral to success in the rural sector.
Mr Sellick is available for on-farm visits or to provide information about Pioneer products. Phone 0409 702 609.