PERFECT conditions for grain fill during September have pushed tonnage estimates for the Western Australian grain harvest to the near record levels of last year’s 24 million tonnes, according to the Grain Industry of Western Australia’s (GIWA) October Crop Report released today.
Mild temperatures across the whole state and the absence of any significant frost events have combined to give the crops every chance of achieving above average yields for all crops in all regions.
Most of the extra yield is expected to come from increased grain weight, and early indications from harvested paddocks back this up.
Grain protein in cereals is expected to be at the lower end of the scale as you would expect with a finish like this.
Wheat crops in the southern regions are not completely out of the frost risk period due to maturing a little later than normal, although with no major frosts forecast for the next week, that frost risk period will nearly be over.
There is upside to the current predicted wheat tonnage as the large low rainfall areas are likely to yield better than they look and if the southern areas remain frost free, they will also exceed current estimates.
The wheat area is down on 2021 hectares planted due to substitution to canola particularly in the low rainfall regions where canola grain yields will be mostly in the 1-1.5 tonnes per hectare (t/ha) range rather than 2t/ha plus for wheat.
This will tend to limit the upside in total tonnes for the state.
Canola tonnage has upside potential as well due to the very long grain-fill period setting more pods than normal, as well as expected very large seed size.
Lupin and oat area are down substantially from 2021, ironically though total tonnes of both this year are likely to be equivalent or in the case of lupins possibly more than 2021.
To read the full GIWA October Crop report, including zone-specific information click here.