Prospects for total winter crop production in Australia have fallen slightly during spring 2017, due to the varied condition of crops and mixed seasonal conditions, according to the Australian crop report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds said yields are expected to be well below the exceptional yields of 2016.
“The total winter crop production in 2017-18 is forecast to decrease by 41 per cent compared to the previous year, to 35.1 million tonnes,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.
“For the major winter crops, wheat production is forecast to decrease 42 per cent to 20.3 million tonnes, barley by 40 per cent to eight million tonnes, and canola by 31 per cent to 2.9 million tonnes. Amongst other crops chickpea production is forecast to fall by 37 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes and oats production is forecast to fall by 44 per cent to 1.1 million tonnes.
“Favourable seasonal conditions during spring 2017 have boosted crop prospects in Western Australia but unfavourable conditions across New South Wales have adversely affected yield prospects. Yield prospects have also substantially declined in Queensland over spring 2017.
“In Victoria and South Australia, regional changes to crop prospects over spring 2017 varied but changes to forecast state level production are relatively small.
“While harvest is underway in most regions, progress has been slowed by rainfall throughout November 2017, with December 2017 also forecast to bring more inclement weather than average for this time of year.
“Area planted to summer crops is forecast to rise by 13 per cent to 1.5 million hectares. Assuming average summer rainfall, summer crop production is forecast to rise by 23 per cent to 4.8 million tonnes.”