Just what caused the virtual plague of Rutherglen bugs that invaded northern cropping areas in unprecedented numbers over summer has had scientists searching for answers.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysts predict Australian sorghum production for 2016/17 will reach 1.2 million tonnes (Mt), down 0.8Mt or 41pc from last year.
Yields for sorghum crops now being harvested on the Darling Downs are coming in well below average and growers are now hoping for autumn rain to bolster prospects for a winter crop which makes up for the challenging summer.
Cooperation between affiliates in two states, members of Grain NSW and Queensland Agricultural Merchants (QAM), culminated in a forum in Toowoomba last Friday.
It’s early days in a small harvest, but while some test-weights are achieving number one grade, plenty of growers are finding their sorghum is pulling up unusually light.
In case you missed it, Australia’s sorghum-growing areas are in for a three-day heatwave which is set to turn fortunes for the grains sector as summer crops wither and lose yield potential, and price outlooks for cereals firm.
Any chance of a significant sorghum planting in Central Queensland (CQ) this season appears to be fading fast as low prices and the failure of summer rains prompt farmers to abandon plans for the summer crop and look ahead to winter crop alternatives.
Researchers are exploring opportunities for more Australian sorghum to be used in the world’s most popular spirit.
Rain forecast for parts of the summer cropping belt in NSW/Queensland over the next few days can’t come a moment too soon for struggling crops of sorghum, mung beans, sunflowers and dryland cotton.
Droughts and floods are jeopardising South American summer crop production, while Trump kills off the TPP in a move that will reverberate around the Pacific.