PARTS of Queensland’s grains producing regions have already received double their average October rainfall, but it appears the falls generally landed where they were of least use.
“It certainly appears the areas where the headers were rolling harvesting winter crop have received more, while the areas looking for rain to plant a summer crop have virtually missed out,” said AgForce grains section president Wayne Newton.
Emerald has received 75mm thus far this month, well above the October average of 39.2mm, however farmers there would prefer the skies to remain clear to complete the winter crop, which is generally performing well.
Further north Dysart district farmer Brian Gregg said he had received only 25mm, which would hold up harvest for a few days but was not expected to do any damage.
He said harvest was two thirds of the way through and was progressing fairly well, with crops thriving on stored moisture.
“The chickpeas have been excellent,” he said.
Mr Newton said even in areas with heavy rain he did not expect harvest to be delayed significantly.
“The ground was that dry prior to the rain it will soak in quickly.”
He said growers on the Darling Downs would have been happy to receive some rain to kickstart the summer cropping campaign.
However, by and large falls were disappointing in that part of the world.
“There were plenty of places that received only around 10mm, which was a bit of a blow, given the promising forecast,” he said.
The strong rainfall pushed south of the Downs through to the south-west, where centres such as St George received around 50mm.
Mr Newton said the rain would be too late to do much good to winter crops, but said was early enough not to cause damage.
“Moisture is nearly always welcomed but given they will not look to plant summer crop there until around Christmas so they don’t have crops trying to flower in the real heat of summer it is something that helps for later rather than immediately.”
“The area that would have welcomed the rain the most and that is looking at planting summer crop around now is the Downs and it missed out, however having said that, getting a little moisture and some cooler weather is better than the scorching heat we’ve been having.”
Elders Dalby agronomist Jordan McDonald said there were pockets of the western Downs that would benefit from the rain, especially those with later-sown crops.
“For areas that received 50mm, such as the Moonie district, it will help finish the winter crops nicely and give a summer planting moisture profile.”
He said farmers in the south-west would also bank some of the rain for a potential summer crop.
Chris Gillham, Area Manager for Pacific Seeds, Dalby, Western Downs and Maranoa, said the rain was very sporadic in the Maranoa varying from 30mm to 70mm.
“It will interrupt harvest that has just got underway, but it should not affect the crops as the ground was very dry,” he said.
“It is a very good start to summer planting, and hopefully there will be some follow-up rain.”