Australian Crop Report: December edition
Seasonal conditions were mixed in Victoria during spring after winter conditions were generally favourable. Timely rainfall and average daytime temperatures in September supported grain formation in most parts of the southern Mallee, the Wimmera, the North Central and the Western districts. Rainfall was below average and daytime temperatures above average in October for these cropping regions. However, average night time temperatures and sufficient levels of soil moisture supported prospects for average to above average yields. In contrast, soil moisture levels were low at the beginning of spring in the northern Mallee and the north eastern parts of the Victorian cropping region, and yield prospects were adversely affected by below average rainfall and above average temperatures during spring.
High fodder prices and frosts in September caused some cereal crops intended for grain production to be cut for hay, especially in the northern Mallee and the north eastern parts of the Victorian cropping region. Rainfall and cool conditions in early November have delayed harvesting in most cropping regions, and has the potential to boost yields in late finishing districts.
According to the latest rainfall outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 21 November 2019, December rainfall is likely to be below average in Victoria.
Winter crop production in Victoria is forecast to increase by 92% in 2019–20 from low levels in 2018–19 to around 7.2 million tonnes, which is 12% above the 10-year average to 2018–19. Planted area is estimated to have increased by 6%, after fewer crops intended for grains and oilseeds production were cut for hay compared to last year.
Wheat production is forecast to increase by 85% in 2019–20 to 3.6 million tonnes reflecting an expected significant increase in the average yield. Yield prospects are forecast to be average to above average in most cropping regions outside of the northern Mallee and the north eastern parts of the Victorian cropping region.
Barley production is forecast to increase by 109% in 2019–20 to around 2.3 million tonnes, which is 24% above the 10-year average to 2018–19. The forecast increase is largely driven by an expected 101% increase in the average yield. There has been a high level of screenings in early deliveries of barley from regions adversely affected by a finish with below average rainfall.
Canola production is forecast to increase by 107% in 2019–20 to around 620,000 tonnes after many canola crops intended for oilseed production were cut for hay last year. Planted area is forecast to increase by 28% and the average yield is forecast to increase by 61%.
Note: Yields are based on area planted. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed. Percent change are relative to last year.