Prospects for Australian winter crop production in 2015-16 weakened during spring, reflecting generally unfavourable seasonal conditions, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics & Sciences said in a report.
It said despite the unfavourable spring seasonal conditions, total Australian winter crop production is forecast to increase by 2 per cent in 2015-16 to 39.1 million tonnes.
For the major winter crops: wheat production is forecast to rise by 1 per cent to 24.0 million tonnes; barley production is forecast to rise by 2 per cent to around 8.2 million tonnes; and canola production is forecast to fall by 14 per cent to around 3.0 million tonnes, reflecting a fall in area planted to canola.
Harvesting of winter crops is largely complete in Queensland and is underway in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. To date crop quality has varied widely among different crops and cropping regions.
The report further said that the start to the 2015-16 summer crop season is promising. Planting conditions are favourable in the major summer cropping regions of Queensland and northern New South Wales, reflecting widespread rainfall in late October and early November and a favourable outlook for rain over the coming months.
Total area planted to summer crops is forecast to increase by 12 per cent in 2015-16 to around 1.2 million hectares, driven by forecast increases in area planted to grain sorghum and cotton. However, area planted to rice is forecast decline significantly, which reflects relatively low irrigation water availability in rice growing regions.
Total summer crop production is forecast to fall by 4 per cent to 3.9 million tonnes, largely as a result of a forecast fall in rice production.