Northern Region (Qld, NT & Northern NSW)

By August 3, 2018 October 5th, 2018 Around The Regions

Keith Harris, National Policy Group Member

Winter crop window closed

No rain as at 22 August so I would say that our winter crop planting window is now closed. However, I am sure some growers who already have reasonably deep soil moisture, will still plant – possibly barley – if they received the forecast rain of 20 mm for 24-27 August. Growers who have not planted a winter crop this year, and if they have seedstocks on hand – now need to consider the best way to store that seed to ensure its current quality is maintained and that it is still available in 2019. The current drought could greatly reduce potential; winter rain would be needed in most cases to provide adequate soil moisture before planting. Obviously, the other limiting factor is soil temperature and this week our temperatures.

Although the NSW Department of Primary Industries at Tamworth is currently looking at bringing forward sorghum sowing dates, I am sure their recommendation would still be to wait until soil temperatures at 9am reach 160C for sorghum and slightly less than 120C for sunflowers and maize. The DPI is trying to develop systems which would enable earlier sowing dates to avoid severe heat stress at flowering.