ABARES ups forecast for southern pulses, north’s numbers cut

Grain Central, September 8, 2023

A flowering crop of lentils nears the top of a jerry can to show promising yield potential in South Australia’s Murray-Mallee. Photo: Blacksell Farms

FIGURES released by ABARES this week have lifted the production forecast for Australia’s five major pulses to 2.96 million tonnes (Mt) from 2.68Mt forecast in June.

Released on Tuesday in the quarterly Australian Crop Report, the figures include a 36 percent increase in the forecast for lentil production.

It puts expected lentil production at 1.2Mt, up from 906,000t when based on conditions shortly after planting, which would make it Australia’s second-biggest lentil crop on record behind the 1.4Mt crop grown in 2022-23.

Forecast faba been production has lifted 12pc to 447,229t, and the field pea estimate has ratcheted up 2pc to 238,498t.

Dry conditions across northern growing regions have pushed down the estimate for lupins and chickpeas.

Lupins are now expected to total  514,209t, down 14pc from the June estimate, and the forecast chickpea figure has dropped 2pc to 533,000t.

Western Australia grows the bulk of the lupin crop, and is expected to produce 380,000t from 250,000ha, down sharply from the initial June estimate of 470,000t from 300,000ha.

Chickpeas are grown primarily in Queensland and New South Wales, where the average yield in the five years is seen at 1.4 tonnes per hectare.

Dry conditions look like pulling that back to 1.1t/ha in NSW, where 165,000t from 150,000ha is expected, and 1.3t/ha in Qld, where the crop is tipped at 320,000t from 240,000ha.

The June chickpea forecast for Qld was 315,000t from 250,00ha, and NSW was earlier tipped to produce 190,000t from 170,000ha.

May was a relatively dry month across the grainbelt, and June stayed that way for WA’s Geraldton zone, a major producer of lupins, and for southern Qld and northern NSW, which along with CQ are Australia’s key chickpea-growing areas.

“Below average to average June rainfall was insufficient to arrest further declines in soil moisture across northern New South Wales, Queensland and northern cropping areas of Western Australia,” ABARES said in its September quarter 2023 Agricultural Commodities Report.

AUSTRALIA Jun 2023-24 ha Jun 2023-24 tns Sep 2023-24 ha Sep 2023-24 tns
Chickpeas 457,000 544,000 427,000 533,000
Faba beans 247,000 400,000 266,513 447,229
Field peas 197,000 233,000 197,017 238,498
Lentils 645,000 906,000 645,000 1,228,000
Lupins 425,000 601,000 375,119 514,209
TOTAL 1,971,000 2,684,000 1,910,649 2,960,936

Table 1: Initial June estimates and revised September estimates for Australia’s five major pulse crops for the 2023-24 (Oct-Sep) crop year. Source ABARES

Source: ABARES




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