BASED on soil water conditions and the seasonal rainfall outlook at the end of October, the chance of Queensland getting an above-median sorghum yield this season is close to average.
The current regional sorghum crop outlook highlights a forecast median yield averaged across the state's sorghum-cropping regions of 2.18 t/ha.
This compares with the long-term median of 2.22 t/ha.
There is, however, a level of variation in the outlook between the sorghum growing regions of Queensland.
Forecast sorghum yields in central Queensland are above the long-term median, while throughout southern Queensland, forecast sorghum yields are close to, or slightly below, the long-term expectation.
Despite recent storm activity, widespread average-to-above-average rainfall is still needed to provide further planting opportunities and improve the current crop outlook across all areas of Queensland's summer cropping regions.
The regional sorghum crop outlook and calculation of potential yields is based on the assumption of cropping after a short 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, heat waves, and flooding).
It 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 4688 1417 or qaafi.uq.edu.au/sorghum-outlook.
Based on a consistently near zero SOI phase at the end of October, and available rainfall records, there is a 40-60% (or near normal) chance of getting above median rainfall for November through to the end of January throughout most of Queensland.
Since the start of the month, the SOI has remained relatively stable and as of the November 19, was plus 5.2.
For those interested, the monthly SOI value for October last year was plus 9.6.
With the reduction in risk of an El Nino developing this spring and summer, I have more confidence that SOI values should generally remain at least close to neutral if not weakly positive.
Updates on changes in El Nino risk can be found at bom.gov.au.
For more climate-related information, updates on the SOI or seasonal outlook go to longpaddock.qld.gov.au, or you can receive a text message with the latest SOI values sent to your mobile.
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