Best winter cropping outlook in four years predicted
Projected rainfall combined with earlier rainfall this year has many Australian farmers positively positioned ahead of the winter season, with the current winter cropping outlook predicted to be the best since 2016.
With preparations well underway, growers are banking on predicted rainfall to ensure the season is as substantial and successful as it is indicated.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology the upcoming winter period is likely to be wetter than average for most of Australia - with the data indicating a 65 to 80 per cent chance of above average rainfall.
For winter (June till August) the predicted median rainfall for Chinchilla is 67mm and for Miles 79mm with a 45 per cent chance those medians could be exceeded.
Andrew Short from Pacific Seeds said that recent years of drought had left many farmers across the country in a desperate position, but that this winter crop outlook was a much needed source of hope.
"It's no secret that farmers have been doing it tough, and although conditions continue to be variable, this winter crop outlook places a lot of growers in a good starting position," Mr Short said.
"There are three key elements to consider ahead of a cropping period - the availability of fallowed land, soil moisture levels and the forecast for the season ahead - currently those three things are all looking positive for much of the country.
"As far as the forecast is concerned, rainfall for the next three months is looking like there is a 60 to 80 per cent chance of exceeding medium rainfall in most grain growing regions, which is the best outlook we've had for a number of years.
"Obviously that rainfall outlook is still a forecast, however the signs are encouraging - let's hope it lives up to expectations and delivers a successful season.
"The rainfall that occurred in many areas earlier this year has also meant that starting soil moisture levels for many growers are better than they have been for some years"
However despite the predictions of what's to come some Western Downs farmers aren't feeling too optimistic.
"We have heard this all this before," a local farmer said.
"Plus it doesn't really mean that much to us since the last three years we have been in drought."
According to BOM statistics the total rainfall in Miles for the winter months in 2017 was 29.2mm, 61.6mm in 2018 and only 26.6mm last year.
"Still, with Southern Queensland currently classified as having average root zone soil moisture, if the outlook proves to be accurate, winter crops grown across Australia could see significant production gains over last year, which will not only mean major financial benefits for farmers, but for Australia's economy," Mr Short said.