Queensland

​​​​​Australian Crop Report: June edition

Conditions for the planting of winter crops in Queensland were mixed. Planting intentions at the beginning of the season were strong with minimal area planted to summer crops and favourable levels of soil moisture following above average rainfall in February and early March. However, below average rainfall in April and early May slowed planting in most cropping regions. Scattered rainfall in late May assisted producers in significant cropping regions in southern Queensland to realise their planting intentions, but were insufficient in most parts of central Queensland and the Wide Bay region. Favourable rainfall in early June is required to facilitate further planting and establish planted crops.

The three month (June to August) outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology on 4 June 2020 indicates that winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions in Queensland.

Area planted to winter crops in Queensland is forecast to more than double in 2020–21 compared to the drought affected planted area in 2019–20. Average yields for most crops are forecast slightly below 10-year averages to 2019–20 because of less favourable crop prospects in Central Queensland.

Area planted to wheat is forecast to more than double in 2020–21 to 900,000 tonnes. This reflects increased area planted to wheat in central Queensland and agronomic benefits by planting cereals over pulses from stubble cover. Wheat production is forecast to increase significantly to 1.4 million tonnes from the drought affected production in 2019–20.

Area planted to barley is forecast to increase significantly to 140,000 hectares, reflecting more favourable planting conditions in southern Queensland compared to this time last year. The average yield is expected to be close to 10-year average to 2019–20 and barley production is forecast to increase to 280,000 tonnes.

Area planted to chickpeas is forecast to increase by 47% to 250,000 hectares, most of the forecast increase is expected in southern Queensland where soil moisture levels are more favourable compared to this time last year. The average yield is expected to be close to the 10-year average to 2019–20 and production of chickpeas is forecast to increase by 76% to 300,000 tonnes.

Table 6 Winter crop forecasts, Queensland, 2020–21
Crop Area
'000 ha
Yield
t/ha
Production
kt
Area change
%
Prod. Change
%
Wheat 900 1.56 1400 125 233
Barley 140 2.00 280 211 367
Chickpeas 250 1.20 300 47 76

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. Percent change are relative to last year.
Sources: ABARES

Summer crop production in Queensland is estimated to have fallen by 65% in 2019–20 to 461,000 tonnes, largely reflecting significant falls in grain sorghum production.

Production of grain sorghum in Queensland is estimated to have fallen by 72% in 2019–20 to 260,000 tonnes.

Cotton production is estimated to have decreased by 76% in 2019–20 to 39,000 tonnes of lint and 55,000 tonnes of seed.

Rice production is estimated to have been around 8,000 tonnes. With the low level of rice production in New South Wales, Queensland production is expected to comprise around 14% of national production.

Table 7 Summer crop estimates, Queensland, 2019–20
Crop Area
'000 ha
Yield
t/ha
Production
kt
Area change
%
Prod. change
%
Grain sorghum 130 2.00 260 –67 –72
Cotton lint 18 2.22 39 –85 –76
Cottonseed 18 3.14 55 –85 –76

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.
Sources: ABARES

Statistical tables

Last reviewed: 9 June 2020
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