State Wheat Crop Disappointing David McRae 17/10/06
Current wheat crop conditions and the seasonal rainfall outlook indicate a below average yielding wheat crop (35% below the long-term Queensland average) at state level for 2006. However there are some large variations between central and southern Queensland.
For example most areas in central Queensland are expecting a yield similar to or above their long-term average wheat yield. This is markedly different from Queensland's southern cropping regions where the forecast shire wheat yield is as much as 40% to 80% below the long-term median wheat yield for that region.
As well the area planted in central Queensland was well above average. This is in contrast to southern Queensland where the area planted was well below the long-term average area that could be planted to winter crop.
The regional wheat crop outlook is based on the assumption of cropping after a summer fallow and does not take into account effects of poor crop nutrition or damage due to pests, diseases or frosts. For more information on shire wheat yields contact Andries Potgieter on (07) 4688 1417.
Based on a 'Consistently Negative' SOI phase and historical rainfall data, the chance of getting above median rainfall throughout central and northern Queensland for October through to the end of December is between 20 to 40%. For southern Queensland there has been a slight improvement to the seasonal outlook with a 40 to 50% chance of getting above median rainfall for October to December.
For those regions with a low chance of getting above median rainfall it does not mean there will be no rainfall. What it does mean is that rainfall will more likely be below median to median rather than well above median. As we are entering our spring/summer rainfall season there is a reasonable chance of getting some useful relief rain.
The last passage of the MJO occurred later than expected at the end of September. It produced only a poor rainfall signal with patchy rainfall over southern Queensland and northern NSW. If a timing of approximately 30 to 35 days is maintained it is next expected in the first half of November. As we approach summer stronger MJO signals can be expected. For more information try www.apsru.gov.au/mjo/
Current rainfall probability maps are at www.dpi.qld.gov.au/climate or www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au and SOI updates are available on (07) 46881439. For other enquires contact the DPI&F Information Centre on 132523.