Holger Meinke of the Queensland Centre for Climate Applications has sketched the following seasonal impacts of the rapidly rising SOI through April-May:
- A potentially good wheat season with cooler temperatures, lots of water, and if soils are not nitrogen-limited or waterlogged, growers could get a very good wheat crop.
- During late spring/early summer western and southern regions are moving into the drier season and although they have a high chance of exceeding median rainfall, they are often better off at harvest time than many of the people in the northern grains region who are moving into the wet season.
- Many of the southern areas can have serious problems with waterlogging during winter and early spring because a lot of the soils are not free-draining.
- Certain SOI phases are likely to be associated with higher than normal chances of flooding in some regions.
For this year the take-home message is:
Be prepared, know your district climate history and take every possible opportunity for crop management operations that ensure maximum returns.