Increases in winter crops

WINTER crop production is forecast to increase by 12 per cent this season to a total of 42.1 million tonnes, according to the December edition of the Australian Crop Report.

The report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) forecasts wheat production to increase by 17 per cent to 26.2 million tonnes, and barley production to rise by 15 per cent to 8.6 million tonnes.

ABARES executive director Karen Schneider said canola production was forecast to fall by 15 per cent to about 3.4 million tonnes – noting this would still be the third-largest canola crop on record.

The report notes that although winter crop production is forecast to rise, regional outcomes will vary significantly because of different seasonal conditions across major producing states.

“In Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia seasonal conditions have been good, leading to higher winter crop production in these states compared with last season,” Ms Schneider said.

“There has been an increase of 36 per cent in Western Australia to 15.1 million tonnes, a marginal increase in Victoria to 7.1 million tonnes, and an increase of 33 per cent in South Australia to 8.7 million tonnes.

“However, seasonal conditions have been unfavourable in NSW and Queensland, with crop production forecast to fall by 13 per cent in NSW and 20 per cent in Queensland.

“Planting of the summer crop began in late September, but the hot and dry conditions have created unfavourable conditions so we expect to see a modest reduction in summer crop production.” 

The Australian Crop Report is available online at daff.gov.au/abares/publications

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