Wheat crop outlook for May 2017 (Queensland, Australia)

4 May 2017

At present, this early in the winter crop growing season, starting soil water conditions and the seasonal rainfall outlook indicate that chances are similar to climatology (50:50) for an above average wheat yield during the 2017 wheat-growing season across most of Queensland.

Long-term median simulated shire yield using 2017 technology (115 years)

There is however large variation within the state’s cropping region. Specifically, most parts of central QLD’s cropping region have an increased chance of an above average wheat yield. In contrast, most parts of south-western QLD have a reduced chance. The remainder of the state including parts of SEQ have chances close to 50:50 for an above average wheat yield this winter cropping season. Widespread above average rainfall is needed during the next few months to induce good planting opportunities and improve current winter cropping conditions. However, the likely range of yield outcomes is still very wide. This range will narrow considerably over the next few months as the outlook is updated through the season. Seasonal rainfall projections using historical analogue years based on SOI phases become more skilful for much of Queensland towards the end of June-July and it is recommended to follow the development of the SOI during the next couple of months. Note that most international climate models are predicting sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean to contunue to warm over the next few months, which increases the likelihood of an El Niño event developing later this season. 

Full Qld Wheat Outlook for May 2017