Australian Crops At Risk

Australian wheat and canola are struggling in spots as the “wet” season has been “not all that wet”. Rainfall deficiencies (since April 1) are severe in the West while Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales has seen 10-40% of normal rainfall, says Allen Motew of QT Weather.

So far, Wet Season rains have been lacking in all areas except NE New South Wales and SE and W Queensland. None of these areas have significant wheat or canola production.

Wheat (and canola) production is concentrated around the south west of Western Australia state, the far south of South Australia and through northern Victoria into central NSW:

Australian Wheat Production Map

Most of these areas received Less than 50% of normal precipitation during May, says Allen. As of May 31, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has Western Australia suffering from “severe” to “lowest on record” drought, he adds, with Wet Season anomalies -200mm (-7 inches) to greater than -400 mm (-15 inches) in major growing regions.

Vegetation greenness clearly highlights the problem areas as being right in the heart of the wheatbelt, with only the very southern tip of WA and eastern coastal areas looking healthy after beneficial rains last month:

Meanwhile, the risk of El Nino weather developing this year has been put at eater than 50 percent, more than double the normal risk in any year, by Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.