Northern cyclones offer a chance of rain relief

Northern cyclones offer chance of rain relief

Agribusiness
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Increased cyclonic activity in northern Australia offers the chance of improved rain for Queensland farmers.

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Increased cyclonic activity in northern Australia in the past week has brought welcome rain to the Top End and offers the chance of improved rain for Queensland farmers.

Remnants of Tropical Cyclone Blake delivered up to 200-400 millimetres to cattle stations in parts of the Kimberly and Eastern Pilbara, bringing an end to a dry two years.

Record breaking rains have also fallen in the Northern Territory after tropical storms dumped upwards of 550mm in 24 hours in areas to the west of Darwin.

Cyclone Claudia, the second cyclone for 2020, formed on the weekend and its intensifying off north western WA.

Beneficial rains have also fallen across Queensland's Cape Yorke from the increased storm activity, but the central and southern parts of the state are still to see any significant falls.

Clermont in Central Queensland received 25mm on Sunday higher while Emerald and Springsure missed out.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George.

Table 1: Queensland grain prices. Source: Lloyd George.

Southern Queensland, including Chinchilla, Miles, Dalby and Toowoomba received 1-7mm.

Grain farmers are happy to see the showers but are looking for soaking rains before there will be much excitement.

Most farmers have given up on summer crop plantings and are hoping for better rains in the coming months to accumulate soil moisture for a winter crop or next year's summer crops.

Heavier rain is expected to fall across some parts of Queensland and NSW this week as a low-pressure trough draws moisture down from the north.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting widespread thunderstorms and showers stretching from Central Queensland down to southern NSW.

Some areas are expected to see isolated falls of upwards of 25mm.

Grain prices have continued to strengthen in the past week as the reverberations of smaller than expected harvests in Western Australia and SA are felt in Queensland.

Stockfeed wheat bids into the Darling Downs jumped to $460 a tonne. Barley bids jumped $20/t to $408 delivered into Downs locations.

Some grain buyers are saying they are finding it hard to secure grain even at these levels.

Late last week the USDA reduced its forecast for Australia's 2019/20 wheat harvest to 15.6 million tonnes from 16.1mt December and last year's 17.3mt.

Private analysts are saying the final crop will fall below 15mt after the grain deliveries in WA and SA came in well below expectations.

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