The importance of stored soil water comes to the forefront in seasons like this where, in the eastern farming zones, there has been little in-crop rain over winter followed by summer crop planting rain in those areas lucky enough to have received it.
Calculating soil moisture will be a critical consideration in summer crop planting decisions this season with wide spread rain continuing to prove elusive across large areas of Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Sorghum seed supplies are under pressure across the northern farming zone as recent rains, on the back of a meagre winter crop, fire up demand for seed as farmers gear up for a big planting.
Wheat has emerged as the standout crop this year in Western Australia where winter crops overall are in good shape, making up ground over the last month following reasonable falls of rain and warm growing conditions.
The fledgling hemp grain industry is steadily finding its feet with around 1000 hectares of the crop grown in eastern Australia this year and new investors lining up to expand the production area.
Grain growers could stand to benefit from promising Western Australian research into a cost-effective seed coating technology with potential to boost cereal crop germination rates in water repellent soils.
NSW producers considering late sowing barley in consideration of the dry start to winter have been advised to take paddock selection and seed quality into account.
A rain front that passed over the parched eastern Australia cropping belt in the past few days brought solid falls to parts of Queensland and the western farming regions of New South Wales, but largely missed the desperately dry northern NSW slopes and Hunter Valley.
Thousands of hectares of the eastern Australia cropping belt lie fallow as drought takes hold and the winter sowing window begins to close. Only a fraction of this season’s intended plantings are in the ground, with much of that deep sown.
A clear film designed to cover plant rows like a roll of glad-wrap is set to deliver the heat and moisture benefits of glasshouse production and boost the establishment of high-value crops such as cotton.