Southeast Queensland horticulture update and outlook
Southeast Queensland farming districts have experienced unusually high rainfall this winter, sparking joy and strong prices among crop producers.
So says Greg Teske, agronomist at Elders Gatton, who gives the following seasonal update on horticulture crops in the southeast and an outlook for spring planting.
The extra rainfall, particularly at the end of February, bought welcome relief, helping to increase yields and crop quality. Yet there is still some concern over the green drought impacting many areas, with many creeks and waterways still not flowing – resulting in lower dam levels.
Crops have been growing well, nonetheless. Many Iceberg lettuce growers are particularly pleased with abundant crops and very high prices, yielding fantastic returns for growers.
Troublesome pests have also been low due to the extra wet weather. This is quite unusual for this season and has provided farmers with a welcome bonus.
However damp loving microbes and bacterial diseases such as bacterial leaf spot have been prevalent, causing some extra challenges for growers.
Potato growers have just recently got their seed stock in the ground for the forthcoming season. Potatoes did go in a fraction later than normal due to the continuing wet weather; however, it shouldn’t cause too much of an issue overall to harvests.
The outlook for spring planting is strong. Crops planted in spring include sweet corn, onions and shallots, to name a few. Broccolini is a particularly profitable crop that also does really well in the climate in southeast Queensland.
Growers are now hoping for a healthy summer, with plenty of good rainfall, to make the most of spring planting and ensure their crops continue to thrive.
There is an overall feeling of positivity in these farming districts for the coming season. With above normal rainfall forecast across much of Australia over spring, it’s looking extremely promising, however this may continue to cause additional challenges around bacterial disease.
Given the above normal rainfall predicted, Greg provides the following advice:
“I have been asking growers to maintain their fungicide program, particularly for Bacterial disease.”
Bacterial disease can devastate crops relatively quickly, should farmers not be vigilant, and the appropriate prevention not be maintained.
Elders offers a range of crop protection products.
Contact your local Elders branch for information about our agronomy services.