The winter cropping season is off to a cracking start as most of the wheat-sheep belt faces its third consecutive year of favourable autumn planting conditions.
Executive Director of ABARES Dr Jared Greenville said that this year’s winter crop area is currently forecast to be only slightly lower than last year’s record.
“Excellent seasonal conditions and high crop prices are expected to drive the national planting of winter crops to reach the second highest on record at 23.4 million hectares,” Dr Greenville said.
“And our current prediction is for winter crop production in 2022–23 to be the fourth highest on record at 50.9 million tonnes.
“It’s not all good news; heavy rain in May across Queensland and parts of New South Wales has affected the ability for growers to sow their paddocks. If these conditions continue, they may not plant a full program of winter crop.
“And the high costs of fertilisers and chemicals have meant growers have needed to economise on their use, and tighter rationing of fertilisers could mean lower yields.
“On a very positive note, the latest Bureau of Meteorology outlook points to another three months of above-average winter rainfall for the eastern states and South Australia.
“The total summer crop production in 2021–22 is also estimated to reach a new record of 5.5 million tonnes.
“Well above average rainfall during autumn contributed to finishing off an excellent summer cropping season in Queensland and northern New South Wales.
“This incredible yield is despite the flooding in Queensland and Northern New South Wales, which was mostly localised and didn’t impact the national volumes.”
Read the crop report.