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Spring Dry Bites into NSW Crops

29 September 2011

AUSTRALIA - Dry and warm spring weather is eating into the State's winter crop yields, with the estimated harvest now down 27 per cent on what it was at the same time last year, Minister for Primary Industries NSW, Katrina Hodgkinson, said today at the Henty Machinery Field Days at the Riverina.

"This time last year the State's 5.1 million hectare crop was expected to produce 14 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds," Katrina Hodgkinson said.

"The latest estimates from the Department of Primary Industries put this year's estimated yield at 10.2 million tonnes from plantings of 5.2 million hectares reported Get Farming.

"Soil moisture is important on potential yield, especially for moisture sensitive crops like canola."

"Widespread good falls of rain are urgently needed in most cropping districts to prevent further yield losses."

Current NSW production estimates for major winter crops:

  • Wheat 6.6 million tonnes

  • Barley 1.7 million tonnes

  • Oats 540,000 tonnes

  • Canola 700,000 tonnes

  • Chickpea 162,000 tonnes

Katrina Hodgkinson said it became apparent after planting that the early high hopes held for this year's crop would not be realised.

"Most crops were sown into good soil moisture which gave crops a great start."

"However, a dry spell in May changed that and below average in-crop rain since that time has left many crops struggling. Some crops can improve if we get rain soon."

"The hardest hit areas are the north west plains, the central west, the south west and western Riverina. Moree and areas further east are still going reasonably well and conditions are best in the south east cropping area around Henty.

"There is also a chance of some further frost damage showing up soon following a cold snap across the State earlier this month," Katrina Hodgkinson said.

TheCropSite News Desk

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