Winter crop production to rise
The ABARES ‘Australian crop report for June 2020’ has forecast a 53% increase in winter crop production in 2020–21, with a 23% rise in the area planted. The opening to the winter cropping season in 2020–21 was favourable, particularly in the eastern states and South Australia.
“Winter crop production is forecast to be 44.5 million tonnes in 2020–21, which is 11% above the 10-year average to 2019–20. Yield prospects in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are forecast to be above average given favourable levels of soil moisture at the beginning of June and the likelihood of above average rainfall in July,” said Peter Gooday, acting Executive Director of ABARES.
This forecast assumes average seasonal conditions in spring, as the Bureau of Meteorology outlook for spring is not yet available. The area planted to winter crops in 2020–21 is forecast to be 22.5 million hectares, 5% above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 21.4 million hectares.
“The majority of this increase is expected to be in New South Wales, where seasonal conditions so far are much more favourable than during the last two winter crop seasons,” Gooday said.
For the major winter crops, area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 27% to almost 13 million acres, 8% above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 12 million hectares. Area planted to barley is also forecast to increase by 8% to almost 4.4 million hectares, also 8% above the 10-year average to 2019–20.
“Falls in barley prices in early May occurred in the midst of planting but did not significantly change planting intentions in the eastern states with many producers maintaining planned crop rotations,” Gooday said.
Wheat production is predicted to increase by 76% to 26.7 million tonnes, barley to increase by 17% to 10.6 million tonnes and canola production to increase by 40% to 3.2 million tonnes. Amongst other groups, chickpeas production is predicted to increase by 135% to 661,000 tonnes, with oats production to increase by 81% to 1.6 million tonnes.
The three-month (June to August) seasonal outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 4 June 2020 indicates winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions in Queensland and New South Wales, and around average in most other cropping regions.
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