THE Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting this week's negative Indian Ocean Dipole event will "most likely" continue for months.
A negative IOD typically increases the chance of winter and spring rainfall across much of southern and eastern Australia, along with warmer days than usual in northern Australia.
In the BoM's three-month climate outlook, long-range forecaster Andrew Watkins said above-average rainfall was expected for much of Australia, particularly in the central and eastern states.
The news comes as damaging winds and storms swept across SA this week.
BoM senior meteorologist Dean Narramore expected the severe weather to continue today (Thursday), with "localised heavy rainfall possible on Thursday night and into Friday morning for Adelaide and surrounding agricultural areas".
In the Mid North, Clare-based agronomist Michelle Bammann, GroundUp Agronomy, said rain the past week was "a massive relief" because the area, from Hammond to Clare, had been struggling badly.
"It's not the inch (25 millimetres) we want, but it will make things start to grow," she said. "We are certainly banking on a wet spring, because if we don't get one, we are in all sorts of trouble."
Ms Bammann said the region's late start, minimal follow up rains, extreme cold weather and a dry-ish July had meant the region was well behind its counterparts.
"Our canola is at four-leaf, yet my Eyre Peninsula client's canola is nearly out in full flower, while in the Mallee, later-sown canola is beginning to cabbage," she said.
"But the Mallee does vary though, from Pata to Taplan, after patchy rain earlier in the year."
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Ms Bammann said powdery mildew and leaf rust had also been of concern.
"While the wet has been great, frosty mornings with warmer afternoons has brought humidity to some Mallee cereals," she said.
"The mildew is as bad as I have ever seen, while I hadn't seen leaf rust since the mid-90s, and that was on the EP, never in the Mallee.
"Growers are spraying, but accessing fungicides has been an issue, because it's so uncommon this time of year."
Her client in Cleve however, was experiencing "one of the best years in a long time".
"They also need follow up rains, but at the moment, everything is looking magnificent," she said.
Cox Rural Keith senior agronomist Scott Hutchings said Tuesday's storm brought 4-5mm to his region, on top of 10-15mm earlier in the week, further cementing the good season under way.
"We had a dry patch from late June to early July, but since then, we have had really regular rain (10-15mm) every week," he said.
"We may see some disease pressure in the next few weeks, but at the moment, farmers are out spraying cereals, when the weather permits.
"What has been good is the lack of lying water, but we will need bigger rains coming into spring."
Some farmers have been hand feeding for up to eight months and are running out of hay.- STEVE RICHMOND
Unfortunately, farmers in the Upper North region have not been as fortunate, with a very late break and dry July significantly hindering crop and feed growth.
Nutrien KLR agronomist Steve Richmond, Jamestown, said some crops were only at the 2-3 leaf stage, while other paddocks haven't established at all.
"And we have no sheep feed," he said. "Some farmers have been hand feeding for up to eight months and are running out of hay."
The area did receive about 5mm on Tuesday night, adding to potentially 2-3mm the week prior, but it has been barely enough to settle the dust, Mr Richmond said.
As to the long-range forecast, Mr Richmond said if their weather pattern changed from now on, there was still potential for at least an average season.
"Because we have early crops, there is an opportunity to throw some more tillers on and get the crop to develop and establish, if we can get some decent rain," he said.
PLENTIFUL subsoil moisture left by summer rain, and timely falls throughout the rest of the season, has many Eyre Peninsula croppers feeling quietly confident as they head towards harvest.
Lock mixed farmer Wayne Hodge said he was very optimistic, but still a tad cautious, given his main frost damage risk months of August and September were still to play out.
"A couple more rains this month and next month should give us a handy season, as long as frost doesn't come," he said.
"For the last five years we've been touched up by frost and one year we were wiped out."
The Hodge family have tallied 274 millimetres of rainfall for the year to date, with 115mm of that in January and 120mm in the growing season.
"The end of May and start of June was fantastic, with plenty of rain to get crops up and established," Mr Hodge said.
"The summer rain meant there was a fair bit of spraying to do, but it also meant we had good early sheep feed and good subsoil moisture."
He said there were early signs of moisture stress after a dry July - 29mm compared with their five-year average of 50mm - but this latest rain of 10mm at the weekend and more on Tuesday had come at the perfect time.
The Hodges run 1800 Dohne breeding ewes and 450 ewe hoggets, and are growing 1450ha of wheat, 1000ha of barley, 380ha of canola, 140ha of lentils, as well as 700ha of vetch for sheep feed and have 300ha of medic pastures.
With no pest or disease issues of note, and timely rain falling this week, Mr Hodge is feeling upbeat ahead of a planned November kick-off on harvest.
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