EAST coast grain growers are edging closer to the rare double of bumper crops and high prices.
Locusts and some frost damage are the only factors standing between them and one of the best financial returns in decades.
But West Australian farmers are devastated after the driest year since 1914 has left them with one of the worst cropping seasons on record.
CBH Group operations general manager Colin Tutt said Western Australia's harvest wouldn't be much more than five million tonnes. An average WA harvest is about 13 million tonnes.
"It's not good," Mr Tutt said.
NSW is expecting its best-ever winter crop while Victoria and South Australia will produce huge crops.
London-based Macquarie Bank Limited commodity analyst Alex Bos told local growers last week the global coarse grain market and the US corn trade should keep wheat prices "fairly bullish" during most of 2011.
Chicago Board of Trade December futures for corn hit US569 cents/bushel (A$227 a tonne) after peaking at about US580 cents/bushell (A$333/tonne) three weeks ago and prompting a surge in wheat prices.
Three years ago, CBOT corn futures were trading much lower at A$156 a tonne.
"Judging from the global wheat balance sheet, the world cannot afford to use a significant amount of wheat in feed rations because supplies are so tight," Mr Bos said.
"That is why the corn market will be an important spur for the wheat market."
Mr Bos said coarse grain stocks were delicately balanced and the wheat trade was tight.
"So if there is even one major grain producing country with a serious production problem in the next 12-18 months, that pushes us very close on a fundamental basis to where we were at in 2007-08 (when grain prices skyrocketed)," he said.
Australian east coast wheat prices have remained steady at about $315-$320 a tonne for Australian Premium White wheat.
Victorian crops have had one of the best finishes in decades.
Berriwillock farmer Jamie Simpson said his family's crops were some of the best grown in the past 20 years.
"It's a relief that we can get good winter rain and even spring rain," Mr Simpson said.
"But everyone is still wary of locusts."
Growers in northern Victoria hope to harvest before locusts fly in.
Manangatang grower Donna O'Shannassy said she and husband Lyonel hoped to begin harvesting in about three weeks.
Mrs O'Shannassy said they expected locusts to fly in from other areas but hoped the harvesting would be well advanced.
In NSW, Beckom grower Mike O'Hare said he had "close to the perfect season" on his property west of Young.
"This is the best season since 2000," Mr O'Hare said.
"During the past 10 years, we have had four serious droughts, four bad droughts and two below average years. This is the first year in memory where we have got this far in the season with no moisture stress."
Western Australian growers have suffered from virtually no rain all winter.
A shower fell in some regions last week, the first in two months.
Newdegate grower Bob Iffla said he had received 4mm of rain since mid-August and only 90mm for the growing season, when he normally received 230mm. Mr Iffa said some farmers would not harvest their crops this year.
Others would only just recover their seed, he said.
Debbie Collins, of Morawa, about 180km east of Geraldton, said her husband, Gary, had begun harvesting lupins and barley.
She said the barley crop was yielding two tonnes a hectare but half the grain was shrivelled.
"But we're a bit lucky ... south of us at Coorow, they won't even put the headers in the paddock."