Ground Cover North : Ground Cover 051 August-September 2004 - North
By DAVE McRAE, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries Since mid-June, the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has stayed in a negative pattern and, as of 14 July, the 30-day average is -14.8. It will be interesting to see if this negative SOI pattern becomes firmly established over the next few weeks, as a "Consistently Negative SOI Phase" will create problems with the seasonal outlook later in the year. For example, a Consistently Negative SOI Phase at the end of July or August will give a low (less than 30%) chance of getting above median rainfall for the following three months across most of eastern Australia. This type of pattern is also usually associated with a later than average start to the spring/summer rainfall season for northern Australia. In broad terms, the current unusual fluctuations in the SOI (-16.2 at the end of April, +13.0 at the end of May, -13.9 at the end of June) are similar to what happened at this time of year in 1946, 1957, 1965, 1986 and 1992. These years had a patchy rainfall pattern with many areas receiving below-average to well-below-average rainfall. This is why we continue to recommend caution when considering property management decisions and the longer-term outlook. Daily updates on the SOI are available on (07) 4688 1439. Given the dryness across much of the Australian grain belt, many producers are waiting for the next Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). Unfortunately the last MJO in mid- June had little impact on our weather. If its timing remains current it would next be expected in late July. The MJO is simply a band of low air pressure originating off the east coast of central Africa and travelling eastwards across the Indian Ocean and northern Australia roughly every 30 to 60 days. Research has shown the MJO to be a useful indicator of the timing of potential rains. Given growing interest in the MJO, and with funding from the Queensland DPI&F, the GRDC and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation, we have developed a website, at www.apsru.gov.au/mjo/, that will allow anyone to track its passage. Meanwhile, there is a reasonable (60-80%) chance of getting at least the long-term July to September median rainfall across a large part of Western Australia. There is a slightly lower (50-70%) chance of getting at least the long-term July to September median rainfall across much of NSW, Victoria and the southern quarter of Queensland. For the rest of Australia there is only a low (30-50%) chance of getting at least the long-term July to September median rainfall. According to the Bureau of Meteorology "El Niño Wrap-Up" (www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/) the Pacific Ocean remains in a neutral sea surface temperature (SST) pattern and is likely to remain that way for the rest of 2004. However, our policy remains to recommend a cautious approach when considering the longer-term outlook. Part of the reason for this is the fall in value of the SOI as well as the recording of some strong westerly wind bursts in the Pacific. Such bursts at this time of year can be the trigger for an El Niño event to develop. While July/August is "late" for an El Niño to develop, it is not unheard of. And a "classic" El Niño SST pattern is not required for there to be a negative effect on rainfall across Australia. If SSTs in the central Pacific are warmer than normal, this in itself can be enough to affect our expected rainfall. For more information call the DPI on 13 25 23 or (07) 3404 6999, or go to www.dpi.qld.gov.au/climate or www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au WEATHER / INDEX 35 AUGUST 2004 INDEX BY PROGRAM Aim: to improve the productivity and profitability of Australia's pulse, oilseed and summer coarse grain crops. PROGRAM 2 - CROP IMPROVEMENT Aim: to develop and deliver cost-effective, robust and environmentally responsible solutions to manage current and potential weed, disease, invertebrate and vertebrate pests of Australian grain crops. PROGRAM 3 - CROP PROTECTION PROGRAM 4 - SUSTAINABLE FARMING SYSTEMS Aim: to develop, validate and demonstrate improved farming systems appropriate to distinct agro-ecological zones that optimise both economic and ecological sustainability. PROGRAM 5 - VALUE CHAIN Aim: to increase the profitability of Australian grain growers, and the industry, through investments that facilitate improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of Australia's grain value chains in exploiting market opportunities. PROGRAM 6 - PRODUCT AND SERVICE DELIVERY Aim: to accelerate the adoption of research outcomes and innovations that improve the economic and environmental performance of the grains industry, through the targeted delivery of imaginative products and services. Aim: to enhance the productivity and economic value of the winter cereals to growers, industry and the community through the development and application of advanced technology for the improvement of winter cereal crops. PROGRAM 1 - WINTER CEREAL IMPROVEMENT The Grains Research and Development Corporation's mission is to invest in research and development for the greatest benefit to its stakeholders -- graingrowers and the Commonwealth. The Corporation links innovative research with industry needs through its six programs. These are listed below with the relevant reports in this edition of Ground Cover. CLIMATE WATCH Caution on long-term outlook Probability of exceeding median rainfall July -- September based on rapidly falling phase during May -- June 90-100% 80-90% 70-80% 60-70% 50-60% 40-50% 30-40% 20-30% 10-20% 0-10% No nearby station or seasonally dry 0 40 80 120 160 200 240 280 320 360 0 40 80 120 160 200 240 280 320 360 90 60 30 0 -30 -60 -90 90 60 30 0 -30 -60 -90 Weekly SST Anamoly (oC) 7 July 2004 Less than -2.0 -2.0 to -1.5 -1.5 to -1.0 -1.0 to -0.5 -0.5 to 0.0 0.0 to 0.5 0.5 to 1.0 1.0 to 1.5 1.5 to 2.0 greater than 2.0 Page 1 -- Objective measure system for new crops Page 7 -- Tests hope to confirm PHS resistance transfer Page 30 -- Two categories for rust resistance Page 31 -- Big benefits from NIR technology Page 8 -- Market conditions 'right' for soybeans Page 12 -- Increased mungbean testing to keep market edge Page 29 -- Western chickpeas feel the cold Page 31 -- Training programs deliver quick benefits and improved yields Page 3 -- Scientists search for weed-eating solutions Page 4 -- Cross seeding may offer edge over ryegrass Page 7 -- Nutrient help Page 7 -- Ant recruits for weed fight Page 16 -- Seeking the truth about weeds and tillage Page 1 -- Joining forces for the raised bed market (Southern Region edition) Page 1 -- Practical knowledge guides no-till experience (Western Region edition) Page 12 -- Strong support for farming systems projects Page 14 -- Growers hop into beds of promise Page 15 -- 'Irrigation backwards' cuts waterlogging Page 18 -- Joint attack on falling canola yields Page 18 -- Subsoil secrets start to come out Page 20 -- Linking growers with a clear destiny Page 26 -- Not a wonder plant, but an answer for low soil fertility Page 26 -- Grazing grains: when is it cost-effective in high rainfall zones? Page 27 -- The triple bottom line of butterfly pea Page 28 -- Counting the high cost of acid soils Page 29 -- Attention to subsoil can yield positive results Page 29 -- Key is to identify the problem Page 17 -- Growing fish appetite a lure for grains industry Page 31 -- Big benefits from NIR technology Page 1 -- Industry's changing face a link in the knowledge chain (Northern Region edition) Page 2 -- Nile and Kaniva groups win state TOPCROP awards Page 3 -- Awareness campaign to tackle spray drift wastage Page 6 -- From a net to nyet buyer Page 9 -- Invest in ground cover crops, says US researcher Page 9 -- Brisbane to host Crop Science Congress Page11--OnesizedoesnotfitallforNuse Page 20 -- Linking growers with a clear destiny Page 22 -- Science challenged to find grain's next step-change Page 25 -- Gene patents debate moves into the political arena Page 30 -- Faba and broad beans in focus Page 32 -- Gain for grains in functional foods The box on the SST map highlights the key area of the Pacific to watch. If sea surface temperatures in this area are more than 1oC warmer than normal an El Nino SST pattern is considered to exist. If sea surface temperatures in this area are more than 1oC cooler than normal a La Nina SST pattern is considered to exist.
Ground Cover 052 October-November 2004 - North
Ground Cover 050 June-July 2004 - North