CROPPING

ABARES predicts 62 million tonne winter crop

THE Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has forecast a near record Australian winter crop of 62 million tonnes.

Staff writer
 ABARES' December Crop Report has forecast a winter crop total of 62 million tonnes. Picture Ben White.

ABARES' December Crop Report has forecast a winter crop total of 62 million tonnes. Picture Ben White.

ABARES' December Australian Crop Report says the 2022 winter crop will be the second highest on record, despite flooding and unfavourable seasonal conditions in eastern Australia.

Production is expected to reach new records in Western Australia and South Australia following favourable spring conditions in these states.

Crop prospects in the eastern states still remain high overall including forecasts of record production in Victoria. But widespread losses are estimated in regions affected by untimely record spring rainfall.

Wheat production is forecast to reach a new record of 36.6 million tonnes, a one per cent increase over the previous record set last year.

Barley production is forecast to reach 13.4 million tonnes, the fourth largest on record. Canola production is forecast to also reach a new record at 7.3 million tonnes, a four per cent improvement over the previous record set last year.

Area planted to winter crops in 2022-23 is estimated to reach 23.5 million hectares nationally, a slight fall from last year's record levels.

This fall is driven by a 10 per cent decrease in area planted in New South Wales and nine per cent in Queensland, caused by unfavourable wet conditions at the time of planting in southern Queensland, and northern and central New South Wales.

Crop abandonment in the eastern states due to flooding and extreme rainfall over spring is estimated to total around 16 per cent of planted area in New South Wales, seven per cent in Victoria and five per cent in Queensland. These abandonments are factored into the ABARES forecasts through lower state-wide average crop yields, which are calculated on area planted rather than area harvested.

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