Positive season opening for winter crops

Above average rainfall has supported a favourable start to the 2016-17 winter crop season, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Australian crop report.

Executive Director of ABARES, Karen Schneider, said positive conditions are expected to continue for Australia’s major winter crops, with a rise in production forecast in 2016-17.

“The latest report forecasts a 7 per cent rise in total winter crop production, which is expected to reach 42.3 million tonnes, largely as a result of an increase in average crop yields,” Ms Schneider said.

“For the major winter crops, wheat production is forecast to rise by 5 per cent to 25.4 million tonnes; barley production is forecast to rise by 5 per cent to 9 million tonnes; and canola production is forecast to rise by 10 per cent to 3.2 million tonnes.”

The report also forecasts a 19 per cent rise in oat production, to 1.6 million tonnes, and an 8 per cent rise in chickpea production, to 1.1 million tonnes.

Above average rainfall has improved planting conditions across the country and according to the latest Bureau of Meteorology three‐month rainfall outlook, winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions.

“Total area planted to winter crops in Australia is forecast to increase by around 1 per cent to 22.3 million hectares in 2016-17,” Ms Schneider said.

“There is an anticipated decrease in the total area planted to wheat and barley, but this is expected to be more than offset by an increase in the area planted to canola, oats and pulses.”

Australia’s summer crop production is estimated to have fallen by 13 per cent in 2015–16 to 3.7 million tonnes, mainly as a result of a fall in rice production. In contrast, cotton production is estimated to have risen by 10 per cent, which was driven by a 37 per cent increase in planted area.

The June edition of Australian Crop Report is available at ABARES Publications.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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