June 13, 2018
The latest Australian crop report shows a mixed outlook for the nation’s key crops.
The ABARES crop report is released quarterly and assesses crop condition and prospects for major field crops.
A slight decrease has been forecast for total winter production, but small increases are expected for wheat and barley yields.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said varied seasonal conditions had led to varied crop outcomes across the regions.
“While our total winter crop production is forecast to decrease slightly to 38 million tonnes, some small increases (in particular crops) are expected.
“This includes an increase in wheat production to 22 million tonnes and barley production to 9.2 million tonnes.
“Good May rain for most grain-growing regions in Western Australia, South Australia and some parts of NSW assisted in the sowing of winter crops.
“But lower-than-average autumn rain in Queensland and northern NSW has had an impact on how much farmers could plant there.
“We now all have our fingers crossed for good rains over the next few months so we can have a successful winter harvest.”
The total area planted to winter crops is forecast to fall by 4 per cent, but a significant increase is forecast for the area planted to barley, up 10 per cent to 4.3 million hectares.
This is more than offset by forecast decreases in the area planted to wheat, canola, chickpeas and oats.
“Total summer crop production is also estimated to have increased by 13 per cent in 2017-18 off the back of increased grain sorghum and cotton production,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Sorghum production is estimated to have increased 45 per cent in 2017-18 to 1.4 million tonnes.
“Cotton production is estimated to have risen 17 per cent to 1 million tonnes of lint and 1.5 million tonnes of seed.”
The June 2018 Australian Crop Report is available online