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Australian Crop Report - September 2011

14 September 2011

Growing conditions over winter were generally favourable in the major winter cropping regions and crops are generally reported to be in good condition. Rainfall in late August and early September replenished soil moisture profiles and provided a good boost to crops in most regions.

Australian Crop Report Overview

  • Winter rainfall over Western Australia’s cropping regions has resulted in a marked turnaround from last season’s dry conditions. From 25 to 100 millimetres of rain was recorded in each of the winter months and boosted yield prospects, with crops looking promising across the state’s cropping zone.
  • Winter cropping regions in South Australia and most of Victoria recorded good winter rainfall and crops look promising in these regions as well. Conversely, southern Queensland and northern New South Wales received below average rainfall over the same period and will need further rain in the next few weeks to achieve average yields.
  • Looking ahead, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s latest seasonal rainfall outlook (25 August 2011) favours a wetter than normal spring across the cropping regions in Western Australia, Queensland and northern New South Wales. For the latter two regions, this will be important for the upcoming planting of summer crops. For southern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, there is a less than even chance of exceeding median rainfall over spring.
  • Increased populations of mice in the eastern states have resulted in producers undertaking more baiting than usual, which is expected to increase production costs this season.
  • Total winter crop production is forecast to be around 41 million tonnes in 2011–12. This would be the fourth largest winter crop on record and is an upward revision from the ABARES June 2011 forecast of 40.8 million tonnes. Favourable conditions and likely higher production in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria is expected to more than offset lower forecast production in New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Of the major winter crops, wheat production is forecast to be 26.2 million tonnes in 2011–12, slightly lower than last year and is largely unchanged from the ABARES June 2011 forecast. Barley production is forecast to fall by 11 per cent to 8.3 million tonnes while canola production is forecast to increase by 7 per cent to 2.3 million tonnes.
  • Total summer crop area is forecast to be largely unchanged in 2011–12 at 1.5 million hectares. Increased availability of irrigation water is forecast to result in higher cotton and rice plantings. Grain sorghum plantings are forecast to decline by 3 per cent to 617 000 hectares owing to below average winter rainfall and less than ideal sub-soil moisture in some growing regions. Additional rain is required in non-irrigated crop planting and establishment areas of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland in the weeks and months to come.
  • Australian cotton production is forecast to increase by 23 per cent in 2011–12 to a record 1.1 million tonnes. The forecast increase is in response to favourable cotton prices and prospects of better return to relative to alternative crops, abundant supplies of irrigation water and reasonably favourable soil moisture profiles in most of the summer cropping regions of New South Wales and Queensland.

Further Reading

- You can view the full Australian Crop Report by clicking here.

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