Australian Crop Report: September edition
Winter rainfall in most cropping regions in Queensland was very much below average. Seasonal conditions in the southern cropping regions were hotter and drier than average and reduced soil moisture to below average levels. However, average winter rainfall fell north of Emerald in central Queensland.
According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (September to November), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 30 August 2019, spring rainfall is likely to be very much below average in most cropping regions in Queensland. These unfavourable seasonal conditions are expected to further reduce soil moisture levels in cropping regions.
Winter crop production in Queensland is forecast to rise by 2% in 2019–20 to 732,000 tonnes, driven by expected higher yields in some parts of central Queensland. Forecast production is 60% lower than the ten year average to 2018–19 of 1.8 million tonnes.
Area planted to winter crops in Queensland is estimated to have risen slightly in 2019–20 to around 732,000 hectares, mainly due to an increase in area planted to wheat in some parts of central Queensland, where most winter crop production is expected to occur in Queensland this season.
Wheat production is expected to rise by 15% in 2019–20 to 460,000 tonnes. The average yield is forecast to be largely unchanged from 2018–19 with improved yields in some parts of central Queensland expected to be offset by lower yields in southern Queensland. Area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 15% in 2019–20 to around 460,000 hectares.
Barley production is expected to decline by 24% in 2019–20 to 72,000 tonnes, largely driven by an estimated fall in planted area. Area planted to barley is estimated to have fallen by 21% in 2019–20 to 55,000 hectares due to lower than average rainfall in southern Queensland, where most barley is grown in Queensland.
Chickpea production is forecast to fall by 11% in 2019–20 to 170,000 tonnes, driven by an estimated fall in planted area. Area planted to chickpeas is estimated to have fallen by 15% to 170,000 hectares in response to weaker import demand from India and lower prices. The average yield is forecast to rise because almost all chickpeas are grown in central Queensland where yields are expected to increase.
Note: Yields are based on area planted. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed.
Area planted to summer crops in Queensland is forecast to fall by 17% in 2019–20 to around 514,000 hectares. This is largely due to a significant fall in area planted to cotton and grain sorghum.
Area planted to grain sorghum is forecast to fall by 12% to 340,000 hectares in 2019–20. This is well below the ten year average to 2018–19 of 389,000 hectares. This forecast fall is due to low soil moisture levels in southern Queensland, which are expected to fall further during spring However, this is partially offset by improved soil moisture levels and favourable seasonal conditions forecast for spring in some parts of central Queensland. Additionally, falling cotton prices are likely to result in a shift from dry land cotton to grain sorghum. Production is forecast to fall by 15% to 850,000 tonnes in 2019–20. The average yield is assumed 4% lower.
Area planted to cotton is forecast to fall by 61% to 45,000 hectares in 2019–20 and is expected to comprise mainly of irrigated cotton. Cotton production is forecast to fall by 47% to 86,000 tonnes of cotton lint and around 122,000 tonnes of cottonseed. The average yield is forecast to rise by 36%, reflecting total planted area being irrigated.
Note: Yields are based on area planted, except cotton which is based on area harvested. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed.Statistical tables