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Rain needed to lift sorghum outlook

RAINFALL will determine the sorghum yeilds across Queensland.
RAINFALL will determine the sorghum yeilds across Queensland. Pindyurin Vasily

WIDESPREAD rainfall is needed during the next couple of months, to provide planting opportunities and improve the overall sorghum crop outlook for the 2013/14 season.

The very dry conditions experienced during the past six to nine months throughout the sorghum-growing regions of Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales have had a significant impact on soil water recharge.

The current regional sorghum crop outlook highlights a forecast median yield averaged across the state's sorghum-cropping regions of 2.15t/ha.

This compares with the long-term median of 2.23t/ha.

But it is early in the season, so potential or expected yields could change significantly, depending on rainfall received.

There is also a level of variation in the outlook between the different sorghum-growing regions.

Forecast sorghum yields for central Queensland are close to the long-term median, while for southern Queensland and northern NSW, forecast yields are below long-term expectations.

The regional sorghum crop outlook and calculation of potential yields is based on the assumption of cropping, after a short fallow.

But it does not take into account effects of poor crop nutrition or damage due to pests, diseases or extreme events (eg storms, hail, heat waves, flooding).

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

For more information on the seasonal crop outlook phone Andries Potgieter on (07) 4688 1417 or visit: http://www.qaafi.uq.edu.au/sorghum-outlook.

The SOI has remained relatively stable in recent weeks.

As at November 19, the 30-day average was minus 2.5.

For more climate-related information, updates on the SOI or seasonal outlook, go to http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au.

Or you can receive a text message with the latest SOI values sent to your mobile.

I'm also happy to give climate presentations at meetings or field days.

For details email: david.mcrae@science.dsitia.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  climate watch commodities dave mcrae grains sorghum