A secret harvest is under way across six top-secret locations in the Central West and the Riverina.
More than 400 hectares of the state’s first ever opium poppy crop is being stripped and chemically analysed.
Cootamundra mixed-farmer David Forsyth sowed 24 hectares of the plant in June.
“It went really well, it was a bit short of 50 per cent better than the canola,” Mr Forsyth said.
A spokeswoman for Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said it provided an alternative crop for farmers not previously available.