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Australia: cooler and damper summer in 2021

Did below-average temperatures affect crops?


In the south of New South Wales, a region with cotton production during the summer, the NDVI is at a satisfactory level, above average ① (despite the recent deterioration). Compared to last year, NDVI shows a more favorable crop this year, which may be an indication that the yield will be higher in the season, compared to the last season (2019/2020). The high precipitation in January resulted in an increase in soil moisture in the month ②, which was positive for crops, as it kept the moisture at a good level in late January and early February. However, low rainfall in the second half of February contributed to a sharp drop in soil moisture. The temperature ③ (GDD 10 ° C) is at the lowest level for the period in relation to recent years, but it is very close to average and may not be enough to impact negatively the crops.

Were there problems with high precipitation?


In the region between Southern New South Wales and Northern Victoria (area with rice production), climatic conditions are more favorable this year compared to last year. Cumulative precipitation ①, since October, is at the highest level in relation to the last years. The soil moisture ②, despite being below average at the moment, was in good levels in part of January and February, allowing a good development of crops in the period. The temperatures ③ in this season are within the average currently, showing no major problem for crops. For the short term, the forecast is for high precipitation, which should contribute to the increase in soil moisture, which will be favorable for crops in the final phase of the cycle. For rice, the area is estimated at 46 thousand hectares (113,668 acres), an increase of 755.8% in the annual comparison (ABARES).

Has the higher rainfall been favorable for crops?


Between New South Wales and Queensland, a region with good corn and cotton production, the vegetation indices ① is at the highest level in relation to recent years, which indicates a good condition of the crops in the area. The good rains at the beginning of the cycle, in December, were positive for crops. The soil moisture ② is above average and should remain so in the short term. In the current season, temperatures ③ are just above average, and do not show great risk to the fields. With the most favorable conditions in the current season, the estimated area destined for corn increased by 70.4% in relation to the 2019/2020 season and for cotton the increase in area will be significantly higher and the increase is estimated at 394.7% ( ABARES). The increase in area will collaborate with the higher production compared to last year.

(source: Geosys; Agriquest)

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