Winter crop forecast downgraded

THE AUSTRALIAN Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has downgraded the nations winter crop forecast after the driest September on record and significant frost damage.

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Harvesting of winter crops like wheat, barley and canola is nearly finished in Queensland and underway in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and WA.

With harvests underway across most of the country, the latest forecast by ABARES puts crop production 20 per cent below the 20-year-average and the lowest since Australia's last drought in 2008-09.