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Massive Aussie Crop Despite Floods

23 February 2011

AUSTRALIA - Despite the devastation caused by the floods down the Australian east coast over the 2010-11 harvest, the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) crop report has found there was still a massive grains crop.

Total winter crop production is flagged at 42.1 million tonnes, up 19 per cent on the previous year, writes The Land.

It's a figure that has attracted commentary suggesting it may be too high, and not factor in fully the extent of flood damage.

However Ron Storey, Australian Crop Forecasters, said, as a ballpark figure, it was not too far out.

"Their figure for wheat is at 26.3 million tonnes, while we have a number in the mid-25s.

"I think possibly they may be close on the volume, but given that test weights are down, it might be a little high in terms of tonnages.

"There's no doubt, though, that in spite of the weather, its been a very big crop."

ABARES has gone relatively low in terms of flood damage, only bringing back production 1.1 million tonnes, or 2.5pc from its December crop report.

It said quality, more so than yield was the major impact of the flooding.

Feedback, coming from a telephone survey of 380 grain producers who had participated in the 2010 Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey found that while some grain growers reported significant losses to crops and damage to their property from floods, most indicated that their crop yields were high, and in line with earlier expectations.

Along with that, ABARES reported slightly better than expected final figures out of drought-ravaged Western Australia.

Of the major winter crops, wheat production, 26.3 million tonnes, is 20 per cent higher than last season.

Barley production is estimated to have increased by 18 per cent compared with last season, to 9.3 million tonnes, and canola production is estimated to have increased by 11 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes in 2010â€"11.

TheCropSite News Desk

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