Meat & Livestock News

El Niño Event and Positive IOD Declared, Reports Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) confirmed on 19 September the emergence of an El Niño event in conjunction with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). It’s crucial to highlight that not every El Niño event signals an imminent drought. The last recorded El Niño manifested a mild to moderate influence on Australia.

El Niño phenomena are characterised by an elevated chance of reduced rainfall across vast stretches of Australia, predominantly in the eastern territories. Conversely, a positive IOD phase is associated with diminished winter and spring precipitation nationwide. 

Notably, 2019 saw a pronounced positive IOD event, aligning with one of the driest years in Australia’s history.

Australia’s meteorological records indicate ten El Niño occurrences since 1982, averaging 9–10 months each. The most recent of these events extended from April 2015 to April 2016. 

In this timeframe, the Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) exhibited a consistent upward trajectory, with minor variances ascribed to the climatic repercussions of El Niño.

A marked rise in cattle counts in sale yards has been observed this year compared to the preceding one. This uptick can be credited to the current Australian herd size, of which 28.7 million is the most substantial in the past ten years. 

The pronouncements regarding El Niño and the positive IOD are believed to have steered this trend, with agricultural producers demonstrating diverse responses about their restocker cattle.