Projected rainfall combined with earlier rainfall has many Australian farmers positively positioned ahead of the winter season, with the current winter cropping outlook looking to be the best since 2016.
With preparations well underway, growers are banking on predicted rainfall to ensure the season is as substantial and successful as is indicated.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology the upcoming winter period is likely to be wetter than average for most of Australia – with the data indicating a 65 to 80 per cent chance of above average rainfall.
Andrew Short from Pacific Seeds said that recent years of drought had left many farmers across the country in a desperate position, but that this winter crop outlook was a much needed source of hope.
“It’s no secret that farmers have been doing it tough, and although conditions continue to be variable, this winter crop outlook places a lot of growers in a good starting position,” Mr Short said.
“There are three key elements to consider ahead of a cropping period – the availability of fallowed land, soil moisture levels and the forecast for the season ahead – currently those three things are all looking positive for much of the country.
“In preparation for planting, growers should ensure they are aware of the quality of their seed and that all retained seed from previous seasons undergoes germination and vigour testing. It’s cheap insurance to prevent a potentially costly delay in seeding or worse, a lost opportunity.
“When you look at land availability, the smaller summer crop, particularly in Southern Queensland and Northern NSW, has meant there is plenty of fallowed area available to be planted to winter crop.
“As far as the forecast is concerned, rainfall for the next three months is looking like there is a 60 to 80 per cent chance of exceeding medium rainfall in most grain growing regions, which is the best outlook we’ve had for a number of years.
“Obviously that rainfall outlook is still a forecast, however the signs are encouraging – let’s hope it lives up to expectations and delivers a successful season,” Mr Short said.
“The rainfall that occurred in many areas earlier this year has also meant that starting soil moisture levels for many growers are better than they have been for some years”
According to BoM, in Northern NSW, root zone soil moisture is classified as above average, with Southern Queensland currently classified as having average root zone soil moisture.
If the outlook proves to be accurate, winter crops grown across the country such as wheat, barley, canola, and chickpeas could see significant production gains over last year, which will not only mean major financial benefits for farmers, but for the Australia’s economy.
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