A new app-based system for recording and sharing rain gauge data will help to create comprehensive localised rainfall maps and aid crop agronomy decision-making as the growing season unfolds.
The heavy rains forecast for Queensland’s cropping zones last Friday and Saturday failed to live up to expectations with recordings barely enough to make a difference to emerging crops in Central Queensland (CQ) or kick start sowing in earnest on the Darling Downs.
All eyes will be on the weather in South Australia this week where the prospect of a rain front delivering much-needed falls to the state’s farming areas will consolidate winter crop plantings after what has been a patchy start to this year’s sowing program.
Western Australian grain growers should plan for a drier-than-average 2017 cropping season with 10 out of 11 Australian and international climate forecasts predicting below average rainfall during the growing season.
Two months’ worth of rain has fallen in the agricultural regions of South Australia and Victoria during the last 24 hours, with some areas breaking records for this time of the year.
While the tropical Pacific remains neutral in terms of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), there are signs El Niño may develop in 2017.
Cyclone Debbie, which brought destructive winds and flooding to the coastal regions of southern Queensland and north east NSW last week, produced more benign, beneficial rainfall for much of the inland grain belt from Central Queensland to north west NSW.
Australian grain growers should take into account both the Pacific Ocean El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) when assessing the climate outlook for winter cropping seasons.
While south-eastern Australia sweltered through record heatwaves over summer, Western Australia recorded a cool, wet start to the year with widespread flooding across the south-west.
For Australia’s climate, 2016 was a year of two halves. The year started with one of the strongest El Niño events on record; the opening months were generally hot and dry; from May onwards there was a dramatic change in the pattern, with heavy rain and flooding; overall temperatures were the fourth warmest on record, capping off Australia’s hottest decade.