Corn may be popular in Central Queensland this year.

CQgrowers relish heavy rain

Farmers in central Queensland are rejoicing as a timely storm-driven rainfall delivered up to 240mm across the region last week.

FARMERS in central Queensland are rejoicing as a timely storm-driven rainfall delivered up to 240mm across the region last week.

The falls will provide a solid platform of subsoil moisture for the summer cropping program.

Ben Marshall, Marshall Seed and Grain Services, Emerald, said the region had received anything from 10mm to 240mm.

“It was storm-driven and as such it was patchy, but there were a lot of areas that saw pretty good rainfall,” Mr Marshall said.

“Emerald had very good rainfall, but it was less as you head out towards Springsure,” he said.

Croppers in the region will be busy contemplating the best gross margins from summer crops this year.

Mr Marshall said mung bean values had declined, in line with a fall in world pulse prices, and said farmers may look at corn where the soil moisture profile is good.

“Corn was a good crop for people last year, it is more expensive to grow so you want to have a bit more certainty about your moisture profile, but where there has been good rain people will be looking at it.”

“Sorghum values are also not too bad for those guys with less moisture.”

Old crop sorghum values are at around $175-195 a tonne through the Central Queensland region, although the price for new crop sorghum, delivered to Brisbane is around $270/t.

Sorghum price levels have not yet fallen low enough to attract export demand from China, which can be a big buyer of the crop.

Mr Marshall said in spite of the fall in mung bean prices, growers would put some in for their agronomic benefits.

“In terms of the rotation some farmers really like to get late planted mung beans into the system so even though the returns are not that flash at present they will look to do that.”

Mr Marshall said some farmers were constrained in their choices due to high carry over levels of residual herbicide caused by the dry winter.

“It may mean their crop choices come down to what crop can tolerate the residual,” he said.

Mr Marshall said it was not only the croppers delighted with the rain.

“The grass is looking just sensational after the rain, it has really kicked it along.”

He said mixed farmers in the area may look at forage crops as an option.

“The rain opens the door for forage crops as well.”

He said crops would start to be planted in the region from the last week in December through to early February.

The rain was less intense through the Darling Downs region, although there were useful falls which in some areas may inspire additional planting along with the crop already in the ground.

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