Coolwire 12 24 May 2005Are Martians growing Australian wheat ?
|Anyone watching rainfall since the 2002 drought will know that the southern Australian cropping region, or "wheat belt" has known many worse seasons than 2003 and 2004, they were overall pretty fair seasons in the wheatbelt. This is borne out by near record wheat production figures from the AWB, Grains Council and ABARE estimates which suggest that any hardship due to low rainfall stems from a small proportion of land or that there is a subset of rural Australians who for a variety of reasons are unprepared or ill equiped to make a "go" of farming. The sheer volume of media attention indicates these people can be vocal and the media fairly gullible in not setting news in context.|
|There is a huge constrast
between the relatively
minor areas of arable Australia actually defined as being in drought by
the BoM, (see map with red areas below) and the EC drought declared
This 22 May 05 map shows vast areas of NSW defined as EC (Exceptional Circumstances) from the website of Commonwealth Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Clearly there is a huge discrepancy in these silly EC maps for policymakers to repair when wheat production figures can be so good and the BoM have only minor areas of the wheatbelt in drought
|This map of drought areas from 1
May 2004 to 30 April 2005 comes from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)
and you can explore drought maps for various periods. Those for 3 and 6 months show expamded areas but still not over most of the wheatbelt.
And since when was an Autumn low rain period a big deal ??