Record temperatures over the weekend, particularly in New South Wales where heat was worse than initially expected, appears to have forced some significant revisions to national production forecasts, and could wipe 15 per cent off wheat, barley and canola crops in NSW.
In a brief report sent to its clients today, Lachstock Consulting said the weekend heat has caused crops that were already stressed by moisture deficiencies and frost damage to lose flag leafs and flowers, limiting their ability to photosynthesize and fill pods and seeds.
The leaf loss issue was more prevalent in wheat, though barley did not escape unscathed, with nitrogen and moisture deficiencies likely to cause limited seed filling, which will reduce test weights and final figures.
Lachstock’s report said canola had the top knocked out of it, with crops in the later stages of flowering losing the final pod set, which will reduce yields throughout the NSW.
“The combined yield losses across these crops equates to 15 per cent, which we will refine and potentially reduce further ahead of our next update, if no moisture is received in the next two weeks.”
Hot temperatures also added further moisture stress in Queensland, particularly in the south west region where the bulk of the warm temperatures were received. Lachstock has revised its South West Queensland production forecasts down by 30pc, and Darling Downs down by 10pc.
Hot, dry conditions in the Victorian Mallee region over the weekend depleted soil moisture reserves, causing plant stress, prompting the early signs of moisture strain.
This has prompted Lachstock to reduce its Victorian wheat yield projections by around 10pc, with downside for another 10-15pc, if no rain is received in the next ten days.
While the rainfall for WA was good over the weekend, Lachstock said it does not warrant a production update at this point.
“There is some uncertainty still surrounding some frost issues in Albany and the ability of Southern Kwinana to offset losses in the north. However, the outcomes of these events are not as definitive and immediate as the east coast events highlighted above”.