YIELD STUDY: BGA Agriservices Kingaroy Ian Crosthwaite collects peanuts to study.
YIELD STUDY: BGA Agriservices Kingaroy Ian Crosthwaite collects peanuts to study. Kate Benedict

La Niña may lead to even rainfall over winter

BASED on El Niño events since 1900, around 50% have been followed by a neutral year and 40% have been followed by La Niña.

La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño- Southern Oscillation and is associated with increased probability of wetter conditions of much of Australia, particularly the eastern and northern areas.

It has also been related to higher number of tropical cyclones.

Kingaroy agronomist Ian Crosthwaite said the likelihood of a La Niña was a possibility.

"It's unpredictable as to the type of season we may have compared to some other areas," Mr Crosthwaite said.

"The correlation between what the ENSO is doing is not as strong as it is for a lot of other areas, so we tend to probably take less notice of it here than they would in other parts of Australia."

Department of Economic Development seasonal agronomist Dale Grey said he believed a brewing La Niña weather system could lead to more even rainfall over the winter months.

From three of the 11 weather models he surveyed, he predicted a weak La Niña system, which brings wetter weather by winter time.

"Statistically there is a 40% chance of El Nino's turning into a La Niña," Mr Grey said during an address at a Grains Research and Development Corporation update.

"We see evidence under the ocean in the Pacific that a La Niña is not impossibility," he said.

Mr Crosthwaite, who has lived in the South Burnett since 1984, said El Niño usually wasn't as bad as it had been made out to be.

"In the years that it's been predicted that we'll have an El Niño and seasons will be poor, we've had some quite good seasons in that time," Mr Crosthwaite said.

"We farm according to local conditions that we usually expect, rather than say we'll make these changes."

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