Improved October rain in NSW may have offered relief, the 2018 drought is far from over.
Northern NSW farmers are busy planting sorghum following the October rain, but significantly more rain is required before a crop is assured.
Sorghum plantings are expected to be up as farmers look to cash in on the high grain prices.
A general 50 to 80 millimetres of rain in October has provided enough moisture for most farmers to get some of the sorghum planted, but further rain in November and December is needed to ensure the intended area goes in, particularly in country that has been double cropped.
Last week’s hot dry weather is allowing farmers to get sorghum crops planted quickly. Favourable planting weather is forecast to continue this week with the chance of some isolated storms.
Extended weather outlooks for eastern Australia remain problematic.
Drought conditions across eastern Australia are likely to persist through the summer, according to the Bureau of Meteorology's latest seasonal outlook.
A drier and warmer than average three months would mean a low chance of recovery for drought-affected areas of eastern Australia.
The November to January climate outlook indicates large parts of Australia are likely to be drier than average. November is likely to be drier than average in many areas, the BOM said.
November to January days are very likely to be warmer than average for most of Australia.
Affects from the 2018 drought continue to be measured with ABARES releasing a detailed assessment of the impacts its having on grain production and farm incomes.
Severe rainfall deficiencies in 2018 has put the drought in the same league as the worst the east coast.
Drought conditions are more severe in some regions, particularly through NSW, ABARES said.
Rainfall to the end of September in NSW, was the third lowest on record at 191mm which is as low as any time in the past 20 years.
However, the extent of the rainfall deficiencies is less widespread than previous droughts.
Analysis of the deficiencies showed that 49pc of the agricultural land in south east Australia is experiencing a one in 20-year drought compared to 81pc in the 2002/03.
The report flagged that ABARES will make further substantial cuts to its current winter crop production estimates when then update their forecasts.
Winter crop grain production across the eastern Australian wheat and sheep zone is forecast to be 53pc below the 20-year average ABARES said.
NSW will account for a large share of the decline where yields are forecast to be 65pc below the 20-year average.
Larger grain output from Western Australia will partially offset national winter crop production declines.
Australian winter crop production is still forecast to be 23pc below the 20-year average in the 2018/19 season, ABARES said.
The weaker tone in the local markets continued last week with significant price declines across all grains and all port zones.
Sorghum prices lead last week’s declines with prices falling by $15 to $20 a tonne as buyers pull bids on the expected large plantings.