Close to average sorghum yields forecast

RURAL BEAUTY: A rainbow is visible through sorghum on the Black family’s Cecilvale property at Brookstead.
RURAL BEAUTY: A rainbow is visible through sorghum on the Black family’s Cecilvale property at Brookstead. Contributed

BASED on soil moisture levels at the end of January and the seasonal rainfall outlook for February to April, the sorghum yield outlook for 2012/13 remains close to average for north-eastern Australia.

Looking specifically at Queensland, the current sorghum crop outlook highlights a forecast median yield of 2.27t/ha.

This is marginally above Queensland's long-term median of 2.22t/ha.

While plantings have largely ceased, the rainfall recorded during January has helped secure the current average crop outlook.

There are, though, the usual differences in yield expectations between the growing regions.

Northern NSW and parts of southern Queensland have crop yield expectations slightly above average.

Crop yield expectations for central Queensland, northern Darling Downs and western NSW, though, are slightly below average.

This regional sorghum crop outlook and calculation of potential yields is based on the assumption of cropping after a winter fallow and does not take into account effects of poor crop nutrition or damage due to pests, diseases or extreme events (eg storms, hail, late frosts, heatwaves, flooding).

For example, a wet finish to the cropping season would increase the risk of damage due to pests, diseases and harvesting problems, especially for late-sown crops.

This outlook also does not take into account variations in soil moisture on a paddock scale.

For more information on the seasonal crop outlook, contact Andries Potgieter on 4688 1417 or visit the website,

SOI values continue to fluctuate.

As of February 11, the 30-day average of the SOI had dropped to -9.1.

This has been caused by a run of strongly negative daily SOI values.

I still expect the SOI to return to more neutral values towards the end of the month, especially as the MJO approaches.

For SOI updates or the latest seasonal outlook, refer to

Topics:  climate watch dave mcrae weather

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