Seasonal Climate Outlook Message for December 2005 to March 2006

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Sorghum Crop Outlook Improves 12/12/05

Soil water conditions and the seasonal outlook at the end of November indicate that the chance of getting above median shire sorghum crop yields for northern NSW and Queensland during the 2005/2006 season is higher than normal. However the outlook does vary on a regional basis with contrasting probabilities of exceeding the long-term median shire sorghum yield between southern and northern sorghum-growing regions.

More specifically, there is average to below average chance (30% to 50%) of getting above the long-term median shire sorghum yield for most areas in central Queensland while southern Queensland and northern NSW have average to above average chances (>60%) of getting above the long-term median shire sorghum yield.

So while storms have delivered some useful rain (and some damage) at this very early stage of the growing season widespread general rain is still needed to ensure good planting opportunities and to improve the current sorghum outlook across the entire cropping region. Most of Queensland needs more rain before above average totals are recorded or before the rain could be called 'drought breaking'.

This regional sorghum crop outlook is based on the assumption of cropping after a winter fallow and the calculation of benchmark yields and the outlook does not take into account effects of poor crop nutrition or damage due to pests, diseases or frosts.

It should be noted that at this stage of the season, there is a wide range of likely yield outcomes for the 2005/2006 season. For more information on the regional sorghum crop outlook, contact Andries Potgieter on (07) 46881417 or try where a copy the crop outlook can be found.

Last updated: 13 December 2005