Australia’s 2018 winter crop was a tale of two halves with Western Australia producing a near-record crop, while the eastern seaboard suffered the ravages of a crippling drought in many areas that saw tonnages well down on average.
The Western Australian winter crop has produced the goods over the 2018/19 season with the CBH Group taking in almost 16 million tonnes as harvest wraps up across the state.
Winter crop harvest yields continue to rise above expectations in Western Australia where total tonnages exceed projections as more area is harvested.
National winter crop production is forecast to be 20 per cent below the 20-year average, coming in at 29.3 million tonnes (Mt) for 2018–19, according to the latest Crop Report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Widespread rain over the central regions of Western Australia in the past month have arrested the slide in winter crop grain yields, lifting the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia’s (GIWA) latest estimate for WA production to 15.653 million tonnes.
Contract grain harvesters facing a dire shortage of winter crop harvest work across drought-affected eastern Australia are calling for an income support package to tide them over exceptional seasons such as this.
Western Australian grain handler, CBH, has taken in 348,590 tonnes so far as the state’s 2018 harvest gets off to a late start.
Australia is likely to produce a total winter crop for 2018/19 of 30 million tonnes (Mt) – give or take 2Mt – 30 per cent less than the previous season and the smallest crop in a decade, according to Rural Bank’s ‘Australian Crop Annual Review 2018’.
Commodity forecaster, ABARES, has dramatically cut its Australian winter crop production estimate for 2018/19 to 28.22 million tonnes (Mt), down 15 per cent on the September forecast of 33.2Mt.
Western Australia’s winter crop continues to ride the roller coaster with savage frosts and the driest September in more than 80 years cruelling the prospect of a potential record crop, but rain over the weekend clawing back some of the losses.