Strong winter crop season followed by summer crop declines

​11 February 2014

Low rainfall and heatwave conditions across major summer crop planting regions are likely to lead to a significant decline in summer crop production, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

In releasing the Australian Crop Report, ABARES Executive Director Karen Schneider said that poor seasonal conditions have reduced the total summer crop planting area by 15 per cent and forecast summer crop production by 25 per cent, to a total of 4 million tonnes in 2013-14.

“Forecast declines in summer crop production follow a strong winter crop season, with total winter crop production up by 17 per cent. However significant regional variation means that many areas in Queensland and northern New South Wales face declining production across both seasons in 2013-14,” Ms Schneider said.

For summer crops in 2013-14, grain sorghum production is forecast to decline by 36 per cent, rice production by 22 per cent and cotton by 8 per cent.

Total winter crop production is estimated to have increased by 17 per cent in 2013–14 to 44 million tonnes, the second largest winter crop on record.

For the major winter crops in 2013-14, wheat production is estimated to have increased by 20 per cent to 27 million tonnes and barley production by a total of 28 per cent. Although canola production is estimated to have declined by 12 per cent to 3.5 million tonnes, this remains the second largest canola crop on record.

Winter crop production in Western Australia, the largest producing state, is estimated to have increased by 55 per cent to 17.2 million tonnes; production in South Australia is estimated to have increased by 31 per cent and in Victoria by 2 per cent.

"In contrast, winter crop production is estimated to have declined by 14 per cent in New South Wales and by 20 per cent in Queensland, across areas in which poor conditions also saw forecast declines in summer crop production,” Ms Schneider said.

The Australian Crop Report is available at Publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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