Australian Crop Report: December edition
Production prospects in all major cropping regions in Victoria were adversely affected by unfavourable seasonal conditions during spring. Victorian winter crop prospects deteriorated in September due to lower than average September rainfall and significant frost events. September rainfall was in the 10th percentile in most cropping regions and minimum temperatures were the lowest on record in most cropping regions.
Above average temperatures and insufficient rainfall in October reduced yields in most cropping regions. However, timely rainfall benefitted crop prospects in the southern Wimmera and the south west. Harvest is currently underway in Victoria but rainfall has hampered progress in some regions. According to the latest rainfall outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 29 November 2018, there is no strong tendency toward either higher or lower than average December rainfall in Victoria.
Winter crop production in Victoria is forecast to decrease by 51% in 2018–19 to 3.7 million tonnes, the lowest since 2015–16. Planted area is estimated to have fallen by 12% because significant area planted to wheat and canola for grains and oilseed production was cut for hay.
Wheat production is forecast to decrease by 51% in 2018–19 to around 2 million tonnes. The average yield is forecast to fall by 46% to 1.4 tonnes per hectare.
In 2018–19 barley production is forecast to fall by 48% to 1.1 million tonnes due to a 46% decline in average yields.
Canola production is forecast to decrease by 63% in 2018–19 to 275,000 tonnes, the lowest since 2008–09. This is due to a 45% fall in the average yield and a 33% fall in planted area.
Table 9 Winter crop forecasts, Victoria, 2018–19
Note: Yields are based on area planted.