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Good Start for Australian Winter Crops

16 June 2011
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

AUSTRALIA - The winter cropping season in Australia's eastern states has started well, according to ABARES Australian Crop Report.

ABARES Deputy Executive Director, Paul Morris said that good soil moisture in the eastern states and favourable grain and oilseed prices have encouraged Australian producers to increase winter crop plantings this year.

"Recent rainfall over Western Australia's cropping regions has also boosted winter crop prospects in that state after a dry start, however further rainfall is needed over the next few weeks to complete plantings," Morris said.

The total area sown to winter crops is forecast to rise by 4 per cent to 22.9 million hectares in 2011-12.

Although the total area planted is forecast to increase, production is expected to be slightly lower than last year because it is expected that crop yields in most states will be below last season's record yields.

Australian winter crop production is forecast to be around 40.8 million tonnes, compared with 42.1 million tonnes in 2010-11.

The area planted to wheat is forecast to reach a record 14.3 million hectares, 7 per cent higher than 2010-11, with total wheat production forecast to be around 26.2 million tonnes, slightly below the previous season's record production.

Mr Morris said that the area planted to barley and canola was also forecast to increase in 2011-12 by 1 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

"Production of barley is forecast to be slightly lower at around 8.1 million tonnes and canola is to increase to 2.3 million tonnes," Morris said.

"The harvesting of summer crops grown in 2010-11 is virtually complete, with total summer crop production in 2010-11 estimated at 4.8 million tonnes, 73 per cent higher than 2009-10.

"The increased availability of irrigation water supplies last year allowed producers to plant substantially more cotton and rice, with cotton production reaching a new record and rice production at its highest point since 2005-06."

Australian Crop Reportâ€"No. 158 June Quarter is available at ABARES Publications.

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