ABARES’s latest crop report released today reflects mixed conditions across Australia and lower than average performance of the 2018-19 winter crop, according to ABARES acting executive director Peter Gooday.
“Above average May rainfall in South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales made for favourable planting and growing conditions in these regions. Crops there will be less reliant on winter rainfall than crops in other regions because of favourable levels of soil moisture at the end of autumn,” he said.
“On the other hand, below average autumn rainfall and low soil moisture levels in Western Australia, northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland constrained planting and hampered early development of dry sown crops. In order for crops in these regions to develop, they’ll need sufficient and timely winter rainfall.
“According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, winter rainfall is likely to be average in Western Australia and below average in most other cropping regions.
“However, there remains a significant chance that most areas unlikely to exceed median rainfall will still receive enough to sustain crops that established successfully through until spring.”
Mr Gooday said the decision to cut many damaged crops for hay following unfavourable weather events in the 2018-19 season were reflected in the forecast increases in production and planted area in 2019-20.
“Winter crop production is forecast to rise by around 20 per cent in 2019-20 to 36.4 million tonnes,” he said.
“Area planted to winter crops is forecast to rise by around 9pc to 19.6 million hectares in 2019-20.
“The forecast 2019-20 crop will be around 10pc below the 10-year average to 2018-19.”
Mr Gooday said harvesting of the 2018-19 summer crop was largely complete.
“Total summer crop production is estimated to be slightly lower than the forecast presented in the February edition of the Australian crop report,” he said.
o Wheat production is forecast to rise by 23pc to 21.2 million tonnes.
o Barley production is forecast to rise by 11pc to 9.2 million tonnes.
o Canola production is forecast to rise by 18pc to 2.6 million tonnes.
o Area planted to wheat, barley, canola, chickpeas, and oats are forecast to increase.
o The cotton harvest is estimated to have decreased by 54pc to around 485,000 tonnes of lint and 685,000 tonnes of cottonseed.
o Rice production is estimated to have declined by 91pc to 59,000 tonnes.
o Grain sorghum production is estimated to have increased by 2pc to 1.3 million tonnes.