September 18, 2013
Conditions remain extremely dry across much of western and north western NSW following below average rainfall and an unseasonably warm August.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Executive Officer, Regional Assistance Advisory Committee, John Newcombe said the latest Seasonal Conditions Report shows that the majority of the State received below average rainfall and above average daytime temperatures for the month of August.
“However producers are hopeful that this current weather system delivers forecast rainfall,” Mr Newcombe said.
“The far north west received no rainfall during the month of August, with the majority of the State receiving less than 10 mm.
“Areas of particular concern include Coonamble, Walgett, Bourke and Brewarrina in the State’s north west.
“Water supplies are dwindling in these areas and many crops are either struggling or have now failed.
“The outlook for spring is more positive with wetter conditions expected for much of the State.
“For the three month period from September to November there is at least a 60% chance of exceeding median rainfall across most the State, with higher probabilities in the north to north east and the south west.
“Slightly lower probabilities exist in the far north west corner of NSW and in parts of the central tablelands.”
DPI Technical Specialist Grain Services, Peter Matthews said the condition of the State’s winter crop varied greatly, ranging from crop failure in the Walgett region to above yield potential around Albury.
“The dry conditions through winter have severely impacted the north west region around Walgett where only 25 per cent of the normal winter crop was sown. The remaining crop has now unfortunately either failed or is in desperate need of rain in the next 14 days to keep crops alive.”
“Compounding the dry conditions in the north were a series of late frosts which damaged cereal, oilseed and pulse crops in the region stretching from Coonamble through to North Star.
“Yield potential is currently falling in the central and south western areas where soil moisture reserves are being exhausted, following above average temperatures and low rainfall across the State.
“There is better news in the south-eastern areas, especially between Albury and Wagga Wagga where crops are still on track for above average yields after receiving good rain through August.”
The seasonal conditions report models rainfall, relative soil moisture levels and relative pasture growth. See here for The September Seasonal Conditions report