Climate Watch Dave McRae Qld Dept of Primary Industries and Fisheries 07/11/05
Sorghum Crop Outlook
Soil water conditions and the seasonal outlook at the end of October indicated that the chance of an above median yielding sorghum crop for northern NSW and Queensland during the 2005/2006 season is near normal. However the outlook does vary on a shire and regional basis.
There is an average to above average chance of exceeding the long-term median shire sorghum yield for most of southern Queensland and northern NSW. However there are a few areas in southern Queensland (eg Jondaryan shire) and central Queensland (eg Central Highlands) that have a slightly below average chance of exceeding the long-term median shire sorghum yield.
At this very early stage of the growing season widespread rain is still needed during the next couple of months to ensure good planting opportunities and to improve the current sorghum outlook across the entire cropping region.
Although the recent pattern of the SOI ("Rapidly Rising" SOI phase at the end of October) indicates a slightly reduced chance of getting above median rainfall for November to January for the sorghum-growing regions, a continuation of the recent positive SOI values will improve the seasonal outlook.
This regional sorghum crop outlook is based on the assumption of cropping after a winter fallow and the calculation of benchmark yields and the outlook does not take into account effects of poor crop nutrition or damage due to pests, diseases or frosts.
It should be noted that at this stage of the season, there is a wide range of likely yield outcomes for the 2005/2006 season. For more information on the regional sorghum crop outlook, contact Andries Potgieter on (07) 46881417 or try www.dpi.qld.gov.au/climate where a copy the crop outlook can be found.
As of the 7th November the 30-day average of the SOI is plus 13.5. Based on the current SOI phase and historical rainfall records for November to January there is a 50 to 70% chance of getting above median rainfall for the central west, a 20 to 40% chance of getting above median rainfall for southern border regions of Queensland and 40 to 60% chance of getting above median rainfall across the rest of the state.
The latest rainfall probability maps are at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/climate or www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au and daily updates on the SOI are available on (07) 46881439. For more information contact the DPI&F Call Centre on 13 25 23.