Australia Wheat Planting Latest

After a record warm May, Perth residents have just experienced their warmest June day in 25 years, report Elders. The temperature peaked at 26.2 degrees today, within two degrees of the June record and the warmest June day since 1984.

The warmth has not been restricted to the capital. Sunshine and easterly winds allowed all western districts to reach the low-to-mid 20s, five-to-eight above average and within about a degree of record June warmth, they say.

Western Australia’s wheat growing area’s, especially in the southeast third of the state’s wheat belt remained dry despite welcome rains last week, say StormX.

Dry April-May weather has prevented wheat planting from occurring on a wide-scale basis. Wheat potential looks lower than 2008 in Western Australia, according to Mike Musgrave, operations manager of Cooperative Bulk Handling LTD, though he qualifies that statement by saying it is still a long way from the November-December harvest.

Conditions are dry also in Victoria and northern New South Wales, key wheat growing areas in Southeastern Australia. Typically growers begin planting winter wheat in May but significant rainfall is needed before widespread planting can occur.

Growers in Southeastern Australia are hoping that El Niño will not develop, since there is a strong correlation between El Niño and drought in this region. Presently the central equatorial Pacific Ocean is in a neutral phase, meaning that neither El Niño nor La Niña are in effect. However, strong warming has been underway for several months in the tropical Pacific Ocean suggesting a possible trend toward El Niño.

The Storm Exchange science team rates the chances for a developing El Niño at 60% by late summer or early autumn.