Mixed outlook for crop production

1 December 2015

Australia’s winter crop production is expected to increase slightly compared with last season despite unfavourable conditions, according to the latest Australian Crop Report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). 

ABARES Executive Director, Karen Schneider, said this outlook is in line with the revised outlook for winter crop production published by ABARES in the 15 October edition of the Weekly Australian climate, water and agricultural update.

“Despite difficult seasonal conditions, we expect a small increase in production compared with last season,” Ms Schneider said. 

“Total Australian winter crop production is forecast to increase by 2 per cent in 2015–16 to 39.1 million tonnes, compared with 2014-15.

“This is despite below average rainfall in many cropping regions during early spring and above average daytime temperatures in southern Australia.

“These conditions have affected each region differently—higher winter crop production is forecast in Queensland and New South Wales but lower production is forecast in Victoria and South Australia, compared with 2014–15. In Western Australia, winter crop production is forecast to remain largely unchanged.

“For the major winter crops wheat production is forecast to rise by 1 per cent to 24.0 million tonnes and barley by 2 per cent to around 8.2 million tonnes.

“Canola production is forecast to fall by 14 per cent to around 3.0 million tonnes, reflecting a fall in planted area.

“Among the other winter crops, a rise in area planted to pulses is expected to result in increased production despite a decline in yield prospects over recent months.”

Ms Schneider said the start to the summer cropping season had been promising for most crops.

“Widespread rainfall across the major regions of Queensland and northern New South Wales has improved prospects for a range of summer crops,” Ms Schneider said.

“Above average rainfall is forecast for the next few months in these regions, leading to an expected increase in total area planted of grain, sorghum and cotton.

“Total area planted to summer crops is forecast to increase by 12 per cent in 2015–16 to around 1.2 million hectares.

“However, area planted to rice is forecast to decline significantly because of irrigation water availability. This contributes to a forecast fall in total summer crop production by 4 per cent to 3.9 million tonnes.”

To read ABARES’ latest Australian Crop Report, visit ABARES Publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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