FARM FOCUS - SOIL MOISTURE AND TEMPERATURES NEXT FORTNIGHT.

The weather and the farm - lets take a look at some elements this week.


Today looking at the soil moisture content and the soil temperatures are where they are expected to go in coming weeks.


The weather is in the process of shifting to a warmer phase now, the loss of the westerly winds will be felt from this weekend and into next week as the high pressure begins to move further south. That will see the tropical easterly winds move further south, the heat now pooling over the central and northern inland of the nation.


Will this extra heat assist with easing the flood risk for southeast and eastern inland parts of the nation which until this time, have dodged a bullet or two with the threat of moderate to major flooding so far this Spring.


SOIL MOISTURE


CURRENT STATUS - October 20th 2021

Soil moisture is above average over the SWLD of WA and along the west coast following another major rainfall event, rainfall totals are knocking on the door of record values for October in some locations out west. Along the east coast, we are starting to see an improvement in conditions through southeast and central coastal QLD, which has been very dry in recent weeks. The southeast is still very damp following months and months of rainfall. The rest of the nation quite dry, dry through a lot of SA and the Ag areas are sitting near or below normal for this time of year. The tropics starting to turn damp about coastal areas but thr remainder is what you would normally see.

FORECAST STATUS - October 29th 2021

Note the increase of soil moisture running through the tropics and moving southeast into the outback of the NT, QLD and into NSW. This model is suggesting that tropical moisture may begin to impact soil moisture in a net gain during this period for large parts of inland areas of Australia. The west will dry out with ridging back in place and an increase in temperatures and drier airmass. Over the southeast, rainfall coming back into the picture during mid to late next week will see catchments easily return to saturation, and this is key to knowing, it does not take much rainfall to see the catchments flood over southeast areas. The continuous rainfall over the east coast with showers and thunderstorms will see the soil moisture gradually increase. So for those areas over South Australia and eastern QLD and NSW who are needing more moisture to work with, there are some reasonable signs for you beyond the quieter weather, especially over SA.


SOIL TEMPERATURE


NATIONAL VIEW

The soil temperatures are slightly above average where they should be over northern Australia and through most of WA with the warmer than normal weather continuing. That warmer signal through the soil is starting to creep further south during the coming 10 days and we can now see the soil temperatures coming up for much of the southern inland of nation by month's end. This will be assisted by a drier and warmer phase, longer duration sunny spells and lack of cloud cover, especially over the interior parts of NSW, VIC and SA where things have been cloudy for a while. The air temperatures popping into the mid to high 30s in this region will also assist in lifting the soil temperatures. The soil temperatures over the southeast inland is still below average but will begin to move warmer in the coming 10-14 days. The same will be experienced over the SWLD.

FOOD BOWL

The region is expected to see warming not only in the atmosphere, with temperatures into the 30s next week for a number of days, but this will be reflected in the soil temperatures as well over the course of the coming 2 weeks. This will see quite an increase in growth in all flora throughout the region from grass in the fields, to your trees, crops etc. With the ground quite wet, the growth may be quite rapid as we enter November. The issue with the new growth obviously is that it is sensitive, whilst there is no frost, we are dealing with higher humidity values coupled with the warmer weather, so growth may be stretched during November if the humidity increases in line with the warmer weather and warmer soil moisture. Also all types of fungal and rot issues are a higher chance as we go through November with the warmer temperatures and humidity values, again new growth in this region is vulnerable. Also trees that are in fruit also at increased risk of the warmer weather with higher humidity and could impact the quality of produce.

I will have more FARM FOCUS weather updates throughout this week and will be looking at humidity values and severe storm risks once again.