Vic wheat crop seen at 5.9Mt, barley 3.35Mt: GIAV

Grain Central, October 30, 2023

This wheat crop at Turriff in the Victorian Mallee is estimated to yield 2.7t/ha. Photo: Stephanie Paul, CBA

VICTORIA is forecast to produce 5.9 million tonnes (Mt) of wheat and 3.35Mt of barley, according to estimates from the Grain Industry Association of Victoria annual crop tour.

Sponsored by Ridley AgriProducts, the tour took place October 11-12, with crop scouts travelling in nine vehicles.

They inspected crops in New South Wales between the Murrumbidgee River and the Victorian border, and in Victoria’s key cropping districts in the Mallee and Wimmera, as well as some of the state’s northern and western districts.

“After floods clipped the number of paddocks we were able to assess last year, the 2023 tour provided a great opportunity to cover more ground and get a better view of how the crop is looking,” GIAV secretary Colin Peace said.

A barley crop at Lubeck in Victoria’s Wimmera region is estimated to yield 7.7t/ha. Photo: Dale Boyd, Agriculture Victoria

Conditions since the tour may have further impacted yields.

“Some frosting may have occurred in the Wimmera since these assessments and some florets may not have filled north of the Murray River.”

Grain weights used are 0.028 grams for wheat and 0.035g for barley, which are not the highest possible but do assume good moisture for grain fill.

Using Digital Agriculture Services’ estimate for area, the GIAV estimate of 5.95Mt of wheat is up around 50,000t on last year’s figure, while barley is sitting at 3.35Mt, down 14pc from 3.88Mt last year.

On wheat, the average yield estimated from the Victorian harvest now just getting started is 3.95 tonnes per hectare, up 1 percent from 3.91t/ha in 2022, while barley is seen at 4.25t/ha, down 18pc from 5.21t/ha last year.

On wheat, the biggest drops in estimated yield overall year on year have occurred in the two NSW districts, Murray and Riverina, down 26pc and 47pc respectively.

Victorian wheat
2022 2023 Year-on-year change Assessments 2022 Assessments 2023
Corangamite 5.00 4.56  NA 0 0
Glenelg Hopkins 5.00 5.32 6.4pc 2 9
Goulburn Broken 4.60 3.83 -16.7pc 14 24
Mallee 3.52 3.46 -1.7pc 35 61
North Central 3.69 4.21 14.1pc 16 48
North East 4.60 3.83  NA 0 0
Port Phillip & Western Pt 4.09 4.16  NA 0 0
Wimmera 4.09 4.12 0.7pc 51 58
West Gippsland 4.09 4.39  NA 0 0
East Gippsland 4.09 3.68  NA 0 0
Murray 4.64 3.44 -25.9pc 35 61
Riverina 5.02 2.66 -47.0pc 15 31

Table 1: Wheat yield estimates in tonnes per hectare. Source: GIAV

Victorian barley
2022 2023 Year-on-year change Assessments 2022 Assessments 2023
Corangamite 6.00 6.60  NA 0 0
Glenelg-Hopkins 6.00 7.18  NA 0 0
Goulburn-Broken 3.96 4.92 24.2pc 8 8
Mallee 5.13 3.73 -27.3pc 35 42
North Central 4.69 4.56 -2.8pc 59 48
North East 4.00 4.68  NA 0 0
Port Phillip-Western Pt 5.00 4.68  NA 0 0
Wimmera 6.00 4.86 -19.0pc 33 50
West Gippsland 5.00 2.86  NA 0 0
East Gippsland 5.00 5.49  NA 0 0
Murray NA 4.45  NA 0 17
Riverina 4.09 4.59 12.2pc 4 12

Table 2: Barley yield estimates in tonnes per hectare. Source: GIAV

A paddock at Euberta in NSW’s Riverina district crops shows the impact of a dry growing season.

Tour notes say a crop inspected at Euberta, north of Wagga Wagga, missed the early October rains and large cracks were showing in the paddock, and yield is estimated at 2.7t/ha.

North Central Victoria, one of the state’s regions where yield and area were hit hard last year by flooding last year, is estimated to see a 14pc rise in yield to 4.21t/ha.

On barley, Mallee crops are estimated to yield 3.73t/ha, down 27pc from last year, and Wimmera crops 4.86t/ha, down 19pc.

Barley yield increases are expected in the Goulburn Valley-Broken River region, seen up 24pc year on year to 4.92t/ha, and the Riverina, expected to average 4.59t/ha, up 12pc.

In the 2023 tour, the Corangamite region was not assessed and to build the state average the Glenelg Hopkins wheat yield was used.

Wheat yields south of the Great Dividing Range were not assessed, and assumed to the same proportion of the Glenelg Hopkins yield as the 2021 census

Barley yields for the North East and south of the Divide were assumed to be the same proportion as the Wimmera census mean.

Following is the list of 2023 crop scouts, with special thanks to the nine drivers as marked:

  • Dale Boyd (D) and Dale Grey, Agriculture Victoria;
  • Tim Koeppler (D), Charles Taylor Adjusting;
  • Krissy Campbell (D) and Gemma Petsinis, CopRice;
  • Josh Maher (D), Crawford Agriculture;
  • Mark Young, Crawford and Company;
  • Colin Peace, GIAV;
  • Sophie Lillie (D), GrainCorp;
  • Adam Colgrave and Ryan Hopcroft, Ingham’s;
  • James Barber and Anton Nguyen, Lachstock Consulting;
  • Georgia Quinn and Sheridan Watts, LDC;
  • Marcus Williams (D), Malteurop;
  • Tristan Monti (D), National Australia Bank;
  • Amela Bitar, Stephanie Paul, Sabita Joshi, Lin (Flynn) Fu, Ankush Saini, and Huaixin Zhang, University of Melbourne;
  • Heidi Moncrieff (D), Riordan Grain Services;
  • Joe Boyle, Rural Bank;
  • Jakobus Wichmann (D), Saputo Dairy Australia.

GIAV’s 2024 Crop Tour will be held on October 15-16, and interested parties are invited to email Colin Peace at [email protected]

Source: GIAV


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