FARMERS north of Bendigo are harvesting even as a second consecutive dry spring forced many to cut some crops earlier than planned.
Pyramid Hill cropper Peter Tuohey was among those who had to prematurely cut wheat for hay on one of his paddocks.
He was harvesting a full barley crop on Monday.
"It's probably been average price-wise but the yields have not been bad. So it's been a reasonable year," Mr Tuohey said.
November has so far seen 33.4mm of rain, much of which fell in the first five days of the month.
It was "no help at all" for him, falling too late to make a difference to his crops' finish, but it did help Elmore farmer David Johnson.
"Before those last rains we had only had eight-and-a-half inches across the whole growing season," Mr Johnson said.
He had faced difficult decisions in September about how long he would let some of his crops grow during the region's second dry spring in a row.
Moisture hung around in the soil long enough to sustain much of what he had planted, Mr Johnson said.
Both he and Mr Tuohey are holding off harvesting their canola until weather conditions are right.
"The canola pods can get really brittle when it gets too hot and they can shatter if you harvest them," he said.
"So you try to do it at night if you have to, or when it's cooler if you can."
The temperature is set to rise to 36 degrees this Wednesday and 35 on Thursday, before hovering in the high 20s for the rest of the week.
Rainfall is likely to be below average for the rest of the month, the Bureau of Meteorology predicted late last week.
Low rainfall is expected over December, though most croppers north of Bendigo do not grow until autumn.
Conditions could ease in the three months from January, when the BOM expects rainfall levels to rise closer to average for that time of year.
"While outlooks for drier than average conditions may ease for some areas heading into 2020, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to see a recovery from current long-term rainfall deficiencies," the bureau noted.
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