IF the beginning of the 2022 cropping season is starting to feel a little familiar or giving you a sense of deja vu, we're not surprised.
While there wasn't anywhere near as much summer rain this year as there was in 2021, the downfalls caused by a tropical cyclone have led to 2022 getting a similar early break to last year.
This time around, WA didn't quite cop the full front of a cyclone after Charlotte weakened below tropical cyclone intensity at the end of March, however it still delivered gale-force winds and good rainfall.
Follow-up rain over the course of last week and the weekend have led to some areas, particularly in the northern agricultural area, receiving more than 100 millimetres in the past two weeks.
With the soil officially wet and subsoil moisture secured, air seeders have kicked into gear and crops are being seeded.
As is always the case, not everyone is a winner with the downfalls missing some areas and growers waiting to get their break for the season.
Looking around the State, Farm Weekly chatted with growers about what the rain, or lack thereof in some cases, means for their seeding programs and the year ahead.
Rain in the northern agricultural area has been phenomenal and in the seven days to Monday, Moora alone has received more than 120mm.
For Carnamah farmer Scott Walton, the downfalls have reached those highs and since the end of March between 50 and 120mm has fallen over the property.
While it does vary greatly, even at the lower end, the ground has received a good soaking which was welcome after a very dry summer.
"We've been doing other things and this lot of rain caught us by surprise and a bit off-guard, it's come really early and it hasn't just been one thunderstorm it's been a week of consistent rain," Mr Walton said.
He normally aims to be ready to go around April 18, and as a result he hasn't started seeding yet as the machines still need some preparation, but the plan is to get some canola into the ground either at the end of this week or the beginning of next.
"It's still very early so if we were ready we might have done a little bit, but it's hard to know as we haven't had that option," he said.
"Regardless, summer rain gives you the confidence to go and while this isn't technically summer rain, it's still very early and after a very dry summer, it was just what we needed."
It's a different story over on the Messina's properties near Mullewa.
They started seeding one farm, closer to West Casuarinas, in the middle of last week after it received more than 55mm of rain, plus another 5.5mm on Sunday after 900 hectares of canola had been seeded.
With more rain also received on the farm closer to Mullewa itself, taking the total to between 60-70mm, Andrew Messina said they started seeding there on Monday.
"We're going to punch another 900ha in there and hopefully get another shower of rain on the weekend," Mr Messina said.
"We plan to seed 3000ha of canola in total but after this lot goes in, which will take up to 1800ha, we'll wait until after Easter to do the last block as it's the southern one so it doesn't need to be done too early.
"We'll go straight into lupins from there and finish off with the wheat."
In the Central Wheatbelt, there's a far greater story of the have and the have nots.
Some areas have received more than 80mm, others less than 10mm.
Beverley grower Garry Miller falls into the latter category, having only received 7mm in the latest showers, which is also his only rainfall for the year.
But he's not particularly bothered.
"Anzac Day is the trigger point we try to get going by, so it's not worrying us in the slightest that we're not away yet," Mr Miller said.
"We're in the process of getting ready for seeding and getting paddocks prepared, so even if we had of got the rain that some others have got, we still wouldn't have got going.
"We start on that date regardless of rain, so if we get more that's great for the subsoil and if we don't, we'll dry seed anyway."
Bencubbin farmer Ben Sachse is one of the 'haves' with rain over the past two weeks varying from 66-78mm over the farm.
While he hadn't started seeding when Farm Weekly went to print on Monday, Mr Sachse said the plan was to get going in the middle of this week.
"The plan is to get a little bit of canola in by Friday and then we'll stop over the weekend and see what happens as we're mindful it's supposed to be 30 degrees on Thursday and Friday," Mr Sachse said.
"This is a pretty standard start time for us as we have a pretty big program with 9000ha this year, so we have to get going at that time regardless otherwise we miss the boat for the later crops.
"We haven't had the amount of summer rain that we did last year, but this is still a great starting point and should help to get what we do seed up and going."
Along the south coast, rain has started to fall after a below-average year of summer falls, which is a similar story elsewhere around WA.
Mt Barker farmer Mark Adams received a little bit of summer rain with 20mm over January and February, but a further 60mm has fallen over March and April, with 40mm of that in the past fortnight.
He started seeding canola on Monday and with 2500ha in total to get in the ground and with enough moisture to do so, he'll keep pushing through,
"We're sowing canola into ideal moisture at the ideal time so while we're still a long way to harvest, it's a dream start," Mr Adams said.
"After the canola is done, we'll probably stop and wait a bit later in the calendar before we start our barley and wheat.
"The aim will be to sow Illabo wheat towards the end of this month, around April 25, then we'll move onto barley around May 10 before finishing off with Scepter wheat at the end of May."
It's a bit of a different story for Matthew Bell at Munglinup who's had a very dry summer - 10mm at the end of March and 20mm on Sunday night.
While 30mm might be below-average, it's enough for him to start seeding pasture this week with clover the choice.
"Depending on what happens over the next fortnight, whether it gets hot and dry or if we get more rain, we might move onto canola and keep going from there," Mr Bell said.
"It's still early so we're in no rush to go out and dry seed for no reason if we don't get any more rain over the next week."
In the Great Southern, Cordering farmer Ray Harrington has only had 20mm for the year with 14mm over the past couple of weeks.
While that's enough for stubbles in the pasture paddocks to have germinated for sheep feed, he is still 10 to 14 days away from seeding.
"It's still a bit dry for us to be sticking canola in so the plan at the moment is to start with our red wheat just before Anzac Day, but that'll depend on what the weather does," Mr Harrington said.
"If that changes and we suddenly get a lot of rain, then the canola might end up going in first.
"It's only eight or 10 days between one or the other, so we can change between them pretty quickly."
Usually, the Harringtons hope to get a good rain by Anzac Day but the official break for the season there is May 14.
Last year was an exception,, but for five years before that they were dry seeding.
At East Hyden Mitchell Hunter is looking at very different conditions, having received 145mm for the year so far - 87mm of that fell over March and April, with the other 58mm the result of a freak thunderstorm in February.
He managed to get a couple of paddocks of vetch and barley for sheep feed in before the rain came though the last weekend of March.
That's now all out of the ground and looking really good.
"I'll be putting a bit of Illabo long season wheat in this week and then following onto canola after that's done," Mr Hunter said.
"While all that's going on I'm also trying to do a bit of spraying in-between to get weeds knocked over on paddocks I haven't got onto yet, particularly where canola is going in.
"Last year we were in a similar boat and I thought that would be impossible to beat as far as starts go, but this year is earlier again and it's been a dream."
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