THE chilly winds and frosts across the southern Queensland and northern NSW cropping areas over the past week had few ill-effects on early growth stages of wheat, barley and chickpeas.
In fact, Dalby Rural Supplies senior agronomist Andrew Johnston said the temperature drop had helped many crops that had been growing too rapidly under recent unseasonably mild conditions.
“We had a very mild start to the season. There was a cold snap on the first weekend in May but then most of May and June have had above average temperatures which have created issues with the crop getting up and wanting to grow quickly,” he said.
“Because it has been warm, we have had summer weeds in a lot of winter crops that we normally don’t have. The frosts have been welcome. We needed the frosts to slow the crops up.”
Mr Johnston said the only threat might have been to some early-sown barley.
“There were a few crops that were planted early and were going for hay that were putting a head out that the frost may have affected,” he said.
“But generally speaking it is typical to get frosts this time of year.
"The crop is around the second node to jointing stage, so other than a little bit of tipping from the frost, it isn’t going to create any major issues.”
Mr Johnston said of more concern were the ongoing dry conditions which were impacting on the young crops.
“The season sits in the balance at the moment. We are at the stage where some of the early crops are looking for some moisture and the late planted crops are looking good. But given another two or three weeks of dry, windy weather we will be needing some rainfall,” he said.