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Aussie Wheat Crop Close to Record

28 June 2011

AUSTRALIA - Australia is expected to produce a near-record wheat crop this season, according to ABARES.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences last week forecast a 26.16 million tonne wheat crop - 166,000 tonnes short of last harvest's record.

Relatively good prices have prompted wheat growers to sow their largest crop, topping 14.25 million hectares.

ABARES has tipped growers to produce a winter crop of 40.8 million tonnes, 3.1 per cent down on last season but the fourth-largest crop on record.

ABARES deputy executive director Paul Morris said good soil moisture in the eastern states and favourable grain and oilseed prices had encouraged producers to increase winter crop plantings.

The bureau estimates an extra 800,000ha of winter crop will be sown, taking the cropping area to 22.86 million ha.

A better weather outlook in Western Australia has turned that state's fortunes around after a devastating drought last year ravaged the grain crop.

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

Winter crop production in Western Australia is tipped to hit 12.69 million tonnes, well above the 7.41 million tonnes harvested last year.

Wheat production will account for 8.74 million tonnes.

According to Weekly Times Now, ABARES has forecast a national barley crop of 8.09 million tonnes, a 13.3 per cent fall from last season's 9.33 million tonne crop.

Canola production is forecast to be 2.27 million tonnes, about 130,000 tonnes more than last harvest, but lower than the Australian Oilseeds Federation's estimate of 2.45 million tonnes.

Victoria is expected to produce 3.08 million tonnes of wheat, 1.76 million tonnes of barley and 500,000 tonnes of canola.

Victorian growers are tipped to plant 300,000 tonnes more crop this season than last year's 3.06 million ha.

The bureau has forecast the NSW wheat crop at 8.31 million tonnes, barley at 1.85 million tonnes and canola 529,000 tonnes.

TheCropSite News Desk

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