THANKS to 100 millimetres of soaking rain at the start of May, Dalby district farmer Glenn Pumpa is again optimistic. "It was beautiful rain - it fell consistently for about 36 hours and we thought we'd take advantage of the moisture now," he said. "We've got to be cautious in our approach but we've got some optimism now, that's for sure." Mr Pumpa has been farming in partnership with his brother-in-law and AgForce grains president Wayne Newton for the past 35 years. Between their properties at Dalby and Kupunn, they manage 1500 hectares of dryland and irrigated country. When Queensland Country Life caught up with Mr Pumpa on Tuesday he was planting 100ha of Shepherd barley on their leased property, Oakdale. He said they had not planted barley for a number of years and generally preferred wheat. This season it had come down to timing and taking advantage of available moisture. Roughly 200kg/ha of urea had been applied during an extended long fallow. The seed was sown at a rate of 40kg/ha along with 40kg/ha of Starter Z blend. They are also planting 280ha of PBA HatTrick chickpeas and have forward sold about 50 per cent of their expected chickpea production. Later in the season, and depending on if more rain in received, they expect to plant 160ha of wheat. Mr Pumpa said they were approaching the future season with positivity after the country had been in a forced long fallow for far too long due to dry conditions. "It was fallow country coming in to winter last year - then we missed out on our winter and summer crop plants, basically it was too dry and we didn't get the opportunity," he said. "Out at Kupunn we were a bit more fortunate; we had a slightly wetter season out there over summer and it's looking quite promising for us. "The optimism has changed, that's for sure and has made us feel a lot more confident in the short term future."