Cropping

Winter crop production expected to jump by 53 per cent

By Country News

Winter crop production is forecast to skyrocket by 53 per cent in 2020-21 off the back of a favourable start and a 23 per cent jump in the area planted.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences Australian Crop Report - June 2020 is forecasting winter crop production to be 44.5 million tonnes in 2020–21, 11 per cent above the 10-year average to 2019-20.

ABARES acting executive director Peter Gooday said the forecast had been boosted by southern states.

“The yield prospects in NSW, 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,” he said.

The forecast assumes average seasonal conditions in spring because 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, which is five per cent above the 10-year average to 2019-20 of 21.4 million hectares.

“The majority of this increase is expected to be in NSW, where seasonal conditions so far are much more favourable than during the last two winter crop seasons,” Mr Gooday said.

For the major winter crops, area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 27 per cent to almost 13 million hectares, eight per cent above the 10-year average to 2019-20 of 12 million hectares.

Area planted to barley is forecast to increase by eight per cent to almost 4.4 million hectares, also eight per cent 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,” Mr Gooday said.

Wheat production is forecast to increase by 76 per cent to 26.7 million tonnes, barley is forecast to increase by 17 per cent to 10.6 million tonnes and canola production is forecast to increase by 40 per cent to 3.2 million tonnes.

Among other crops, chickpea production is forecast to increase by 135 per cent to 661 000 tonnes and oats production is forecast to increase by 81 per cent to 1.6 million tonnes.

Mr Gooday said the three-month seasonal outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on June 4 indicated winter rainfall was likely to be above average in most cropping regions in Queensland and NSW and around average in most other cropping regions.