Australian Crop Report: June edition
Seasonal conditions during autumn were mixed in Queensland cropping regions. Rainfall in most cropping regions was average to above average with above average to extremely high rainfall in the north western cropping region in central Queensland. There was below average rainfall in some cropping regions in southern Queensland. Low soil moisture levels discouraged planting in many regions, particularly in the south eastern part of central Queensland and the Darling Downs.
Winter rainfall is likely to be below average in Queensland cropping regions, according to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 30 May 2019. However, lower level soil moisture is above average to extremely high in the northern and western parts of central Queensland, which is expected to sustain crops in these regions through to spring. Crop prospects are less robust in other Queensland cropping regions, particularly in the south eastern part of central Queensland and the Darling Downs. Many crops in these regions may struggle to get through to spring.
Area planted to winter crops in Queensland is forecast to rise slightly in 2019–20 to around 752,000 hectares, mainly due to an increase in area planted to wheat in central Queensland, where most Queensland winter crop production is expected to occur this season. Winter crop production is forecast to be 1 million tonnes, compared to the 10 year average production of 1.8 million tonnes. Yields for all winter crops are forecast to average higher compared to the previous season, largely because of reasonable crop prospects in central Queensland.
Area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 15% to around 460,000 hectares. Wheat production is expected to rise to 690,000 tonnes. The average yield is forecast to increase because most of the wheat crop is expected to be in central Queensland where yields are expected to improve from 2018–19.
Area planted to barley is forecast to fall by 7% to 65,000 hectares due to lower than average rainfall in southern Queensland, where most barley is grown in Queensland. Barley production is expected to fall by 10% to around 85,000 tonnes.
Area planted to
chickpeas is forecast to fall by 10% to 180,000 hectares in response to weaker import demand from India. Production is forecast to rise by 4% to 198,000 tonnes because of an expected increase in yields. Almost all chickpeas are expected to be grown in the central Queensland where prospects are reasonable.
Table 7 Winter crop forecasts, Queensland, 2019–20
Note: Yields are based on area planted. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed.
Harvesting of 2018–19
summer crops in Queensland is now largely complete and total production is estimated to have fallen by 9% to around 1.5 million tonnes. This largely reflects a significant fall in cotton production.
Production of grain sorghum is estimated to have increased by 3% to 1 million tonnes. A slight fall in average yield was offset by increases in area planted.
Cotton production is estimated to have declined by 49% to 164,000 tonnes of lint and around 231,000 tonnes of cottonseed in 2018–19. Area planted to cotton is estimated to have fallen by 33% to around 117,000 hectares.
Table 8 Summer crop estimates, Queensland, 2018–19
Note: Yields are based on area planted, except cotton which is based on area harvested. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed.