Dry September hits winter crop prospects

25 October 2018

Australian winter crop prospects deteriorated during early spring following unfavourable seasonal conditions in most cropping regions, according to a preliminary assessment conducted by ABARES.

ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said the September edition of Australian crop report had identified a lack of timely rainfall in early spring and frost events as key risks to winter crop prospects.

“Unfortunately September rainfall was very much below average in many cropping regions and there were significant frost events in southern New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“October rainfall benefitted crop prospects in southern New South Wales, southern Wimmera in Victoria, southern South Australia and Western Australia.

“On balance, however, the benefits of October rainfall are expected to be much smaller than damage that resulted from the unfavourable seasonal conditions during September.

“We expect 2018–19 winter crop production to be around 15 per cent lower than our September forecast of 33.2 million tonnes.

“Wheat is now expected to come in around 13 per cent lower than our September forecast. The story is similar for barley production, down an expected 17 per cent, and canola production, down an expected 20 percent.

Dr Hatfield-Dodds said the most significant falls in crop prospects occurred in Victoria and South Australia.

“Winter crop area devoted to grain and oilseed production is estimated to have fallen by around 8 percent because a higher than planned area was cut for hay,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

ABARES is continuing to monitor the progress of 2018–19 winter crops and will publish a detailed assessment in the Australian crop report on 4 December 2018.

Full details of revised winter crop productions estimates are available on the ABARES website.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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