The golden era for CQ farmers?
LAST year was the year which was a little kinder to our farmers.
It saw bumper crops, record breaking cattle prices, dam filling rains and a stable wool market.
So it's no wonder Barnaby Joyce has predicted 2017 to be the beginning of a "golden era" in agricultural production.
And if anyone knows whether this year will finally bring the good times to rural Australia it's Ian Sampson.
The Central Queensland chickpea farmer has been in the cropping game for 59 years and has experienced the ups and downs of life on the land.
Experiencing his best season ever in 2016 Ian, who crops around 5000 acres a year, while running a cattle fattening program with 500 head, says 2016 stabilised a lot of Central Queensland farmers, preparing them for an even better year ahead.
"I'm inclined to think we're experiencing a time when there is good sheep and lamb prices, stable wool prices and bumper crops," he said.
"The beef industry is looking good for the next 12 months, the chickpea market is still buoyant and is looking pretty stable along with mungbeans for the next 12 months.
"However, barley and wheat markets are looking a bit heavier but it is a good start for people who are in or have been in drought conditions."
Ian said the good start to the new year was a godsend for farmers, especially those out west of Emerald who were doing it extra tough.
"When things are like this it gives you confidence to keep on going."
"There's lots of farms around here that 2016 stabilised, it's put us on firm ground."
Ian said no matter what happened during this year all farmers relied on one thing, rain.
"The biggest thing with farming regardless of anything else is if we don't get the rain well then you can't keep growing and producing, it sets things back."
"I often say your biggest tax doge is not getting rain," he laughed.
"But if we can get a good average (this year) then it will be very helpful because we're coming out of a two year drought."
AgForce Central Queensland Regional Manager Sharon Howard said local producers were enjoying a "wonderful purple patch with record prices for commodities and sensational local rain".
"To be honest, it's about time," she said.
"Our industry underwrites the strength of the entire country so the current market situation bodes well for everyone, across all industries.
"Feeding Australia and exporting clean, green safe products to the world is a fickle business, vulnerable to nature and extremely hard physical work but our farmers are exceptionally skilled and amazingly resilient people."
Ms Howard said the majority of agricultural producers were coming out of a devastating drought and had made a promising start for 2017.