AUSTRALIA’s winter crop production is forecast to increase 53 per cent in 2020–21 with a 23pc jump in the area planted, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences’ (ABARES) ‘Australian crop report – June 2020’ released today.
ABARES acting executive director, Peter Gooday, said the opening to the winter cropping season in 2020–21 was very favourable, especially in the eastern states and South Australia.
“Winter crop production is forecast be to be 44.5 million tonnes (Mt) in 2020–21, which is 11 per cent above the 10-year average to 2019–20,” Mr Gooday said.
“Yield prospects in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are forecast to be above average given favourable levels of soil moisture at the beginning of June and the likelihood above average rainfall in July.”
This forecast assumes average seasonal conditions in spring because the Bureau of Meteorology outlook for spring is not yet available.
The area planted to winter crops in 2020–21 is forecast to be 22.5 million hectares (Mha), which is 5pc above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 21.4Mha.
“The majority of this increase is expected to be in New South Wales, where seasonal conditions so far are much more favourable than during the last two winter crop seasons,” Mr Gooday said.
For the major winter crops, the area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 27pc to almost 13Mha, 8pc above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 12Mha.
The area planted to barley is forecast to increase by 8pc cent to almost 4.4Mha, also 8pc above the 10-year average to 2019–20.
“Falls in barley prices in early May occurred in the midst of planting but did not significantly change planting intentions in the eastern states with many producers maintaining planned crop rotations,” Mr Gooday said.
Wheat production is forecast to increase by 76pc to 26.7Mt, barley to increase by 17pc to 10.6Mt and canola to increase by 40pc to 3.2Mt.
Amongst other crops, chickpeas production is forecast to increase by 135pc to 661,000t and oats to increase by 81pc to 1.6Mt.
Mr Gooday said the three-month seasonal outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 4 June 2020 indicates winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions in Queensland and New South Wales and around average in most other cropping regions.
ABARES estimates the total summer crop production in 2019–20 fell by 62pc to 885,000t, driven by significant falls in grain sorghum and cotton production.
Production of grain sorghum is estimated to have fallen by 74pc in 2019–20 to 298,000t, driven predominantly by minimal plantings in Queensland and northern NSW.
Average yields are estimated to be 2.1t/ha, which is 29pc below the 10-year average to 2018–19.
Cotton production is estimated to have decreased by 72pc in 2019–20 to 134,000t of lint and 189,000t of seed due to low supplies of irrigation water.
The area planted to cotton is estimated to have declined by 83pc to 60,000ha, the lowest since 1978–79 when it was 50,000ha.
Rice production is estimated to be around 57,000t, the lowest since 2007–08, because of low water allocations and high water prices.
The ABARES ‘Australian crop report – June 2020’ is available here
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