Sunday 22nd Sep, 2019

Drought hits winter crop prospects in NSW and QLD

Australia’s winter crop production prospects gave deteriorated thanks to unfavourable growing conditions in New South Wales and Queensland, according to the Department of Agriculture’s crop report.

Australia’s winter crop production prospects have deteriorated thanks to unfavourable growing conditions in New South Wales and Queensland, according to the Department of Agriculture’s crop report.

The report forecasts winter crop production to rise by 11 per cent in 2019-20 to 33.9 million tonnes, a downward revision of 7 per cent from the previous forecast in June and around 16 per cent below the 10-year average to 2018-19.

Summer crop production is also expected to fall by 20 per cent to 2.1 million tonnes.

Crop conditions at the start of spring varied considerably between the states. In Victoria most crops were in good to very good condition, and timely winter rainfall in Western Australia boosted yield prospects to average after a late break in the season.

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South Australian crops were in reasonable condition at the beginning of spring but were found to be generally below average in northern cropping regions.

The Department of Agriculture found seasonal conditions were very unfavourable for most cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland, with winter crop production expected to be very below average.

Wheat production is forecast to increase by 10 per cent to around 19.1 million tonnes, 22 per cent below the 10-year average to 2018-19. Canola production was also forecast to increase by 6 per cent to around 2.3 million tonnes, 29 per cent below the 10-year average.

Barley production is expected to grow by 6 per cent above the 10-year average, increasing by around 14 per cent to around 9.5 million tonnes.

Around 19.1 million hectares were used to plant this year’s winter crop, according to the report, which the Department of Agriculture said reflects the large amount of crop area that was taken out for grain production in 2018-19 and cut for hay.

The area planted for summer crops is forecast to fall by 28 per cent in 2019-20 to around 758,000 hectares. The Department of Agriculture said this reflects low levels of soil moisture and unfavourable seasonal conditions during spring in Queensland and New South Wales