Australian Crop Report: December edition
Winter crop prospects in Western Australia fell slightly during spring. In early spring lower than average September rainfall and frost events in some regions adversely affected crops. September rainfall in Western Australia was the third lowest on record and in many cropping regions was in the 10th percentile. Rainfall in October was above average and timely, which boosted crop prospects almost back to where they were at the start of spring. October temperatures were close to the long‑term average, which benefitted late developing crops and aided grain fill.
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 Western Australia.
Winter crop production in Western Australia is forecast to increase by 11% to 16.3 million tonnes in 2018–19.
Wheat production is forecast to increase by 22% to 9.7 million tonnes in 2018–19, largely because of an expected 35% increase in the average yield. Forecast production is similar to 2016–17, when spring frosts were also a factor in some regions.
Barley production is forecast to increase by 4% to 3.8 million tonnes in 2018–19, which reflects a small increase in plated area. The average yield is forecast to be the same as in 2017–18, which was the second highest on record.
Canola production is forecast to decrease by 21% to 1.6 million tonnes in 2018–19. This reflects a 13% fall in planted area and an expected 10% decrease in the average yield because of unfavourable planting and early growing conditions.
Table 11 Winter crop forecasts, Western Australia, 2018–19
Note: Yields are based on area planted.