Australian crop report

 

​​​​​​Australian crop report is a quarterly report that assesses crop condition and prospects for major field crops in Australia. It includes analysis of clim​​ate and ag​ronomic conditions and forecasts of area, yield and production in key producing states.

Australian Crop Report: February edition

Key issues

  • Production prospects for summer crops in Queensland and northern New South Wales remain well below average.
    • Unfavourable seasonal conditions in December further depleted soil moisture levels to well below average in most summer cropping regions and record lows in some others.
    • These low levels of soil moisture constrained planting of summer crops in most regions.
    • Other than in central Queensland, substantial rainfall from late January through to mid-February generally arrived too late for additional planting of summer crops.
       
  • Sufficient and timely rainfall over the remainder of the summer crop season will be required to achieve average yields in most regions.
     
  • According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (March to May), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 6 February 2020, rainfall in most cropping regions in Queensland and northern New South Wales is generally more likely to be below average than above average but this likelihood is generally stronger in Queensland. There is no strong tendency toward either above or below average rainfall in the remaining summer cropping regions.
     
  • Planting of summer crops is largely complete and planted area is estimated to have decreased by 66% in 2019–20 to 357,000 hectares.
    • This is a 33% downward revision from the forecast ABARES published in the December 2019 Australian crop report, largely reflecting much more unfavourable conditions in December than expected.
       
  • Total summer crop production is forecast to fall by 66% to around 878,000 tonnes.
     
  • Area planted to grain sorghum is estimated to have decreased by 71% in 2019–20 to 143,000 hectares. Production is forecast to fall by 77% to around 292,000 tonnes.
     
  • Area planted to cotton is forecast to fall by 82% in 2019–20 to 61,000 hectares because of low supplies of irrigation water and insufficient levels of soil moisture to plant dryland cotton. Production is forecast to decline by 72% to around 135,000 tonnes of lint and 191,000 tonnes of seed.
     
  • Rice production is forecast to remain low at around 54,000 tonnes because of low water allocations and high water prices.
     
  • Harvesting of 2019–20 winter crops is largely complete and estimated production remains largely unchanged from the forecast ABARES published in the December 2019 edition of Australian crop report. Higher than expected barley and canola production is estimated to have offset lower than expected wheat production.
     
  • Australian winter crop production is estimated to have decreased by 5% in 2019–20 to just under 29 million tonnes.
     
  • Winter crop production is estimated to be well below average in all states with the exception of Victoria, where it is estimated to be 16% above the 10-year average to 2018–19.
     
  • Wheat production is estimated to have fallen by 12% to 15.2 million tonnes, barley production is estimated to have increased by 7% to 8.9 million tonnes and canola production is estimated to have increased by 7% to 2.3 million tonnes. Amongst other crops, chickpea production is estimated to have remained largely unchanged at 281,000 tonnes and oats production is estimated to have increased by 1% to 900,000 tonnes.

Australian cropping land use

Map of Australia showing boundaries of Australian agricultural land use.  
Note: excludes sugarcane
Source: ABARES 2017, Catchment Scale Land Use of Australia - Update September 2017, ABARES, Canberra, November. CC BY 4.0.

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Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, 2019

Download the full version of the Australian Crop Report: February 2020 No. 193.

Document Pages File size
Australian Crop Report: February 2020​ No. 193 PDF  26 2.1 MB

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Last reviewed: 17 February 2020
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