Australia’s winter crop forecast to jump 20 per cent after last year’s drought – ABARES

Australia’s winter crop will jump 20 per cent after a drought-ravaged season last year, national forecaster ABARES said in a statement.

It forecast this year’s winter crop to reach 36.4 million tonnes.

“Above average May rainfall in South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales made for favourable planting and growing conditions in these regions. Crops there will be less reliant on winter rainfall than crops in other regions because of favourable levels of soil moisture at the end of autumn,” said ABARES acting Executive Director Peter Gooday.

On the other hand, below average autumn rainfall and low soil moisture levels in Western Australia, northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland constrained planting and hampered early development of dry sown crops, ABARES said, adding that in order for crops in these regions to develop, they’ll need sufficient and timely winter rainfall.

“According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, winter rainfall is likely to be average in Western Australia and below average in most other cropping regions.”

“However, there remains a significant chance that most areas unlikely to exceed median rainfall will still receive enough to sustain crops that established successfully through until spring.”

Gooday said the decision to cut many damaged crops for hay following unfavourable weather events in the 2018-19 were reflected in the forecast increases in production and planted area in 2019-20.

Key Points:

  • Winter crop production is forecast to rise by around 20% in 2019-20 to 36.4 million tonnes.
  • Area planted to winter crops is forecast to rise by around 9% to 19.6 million hectares in 2019-20.
  • The forecast 2019-20 crop will be around 10% below the 10 year average to 2018-19.
  • Winter crop 2019-20 forecasts:

    • Wheat production is forecast to rise by 23% to 21.2 million tonnes.
    • Barley production is forecast to rise by 11% to 9.2 million tonnes.
    • Canola production is forecast to rise by 18% to 2.6 million tonnes.
    • Area planted to wheat, barley, canola, chickpeas, and oats are forecast to increase.

  • Summer crop estimates for 2018-19:

    • The cotton harvest is estimated to have decreased by 54% to around 485,000 tonnes of lint and 685,000 tonnes of cottonseed.
    • Rice production is estimated to have declined by 91% to 59,000 tonnes.
    • Grain sorghum production is estimated to have increased by 2% to 1.3 million tonnes.

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