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ABARES Forecasts Large Summer Crop

17 February 2012
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

AUSTRALIA - Generally favourable growing conditions for summer crops are forecast to drive higher yields and production for Australian summer crops in 2011-12.

In releasing the Australian Crop Report, Executive Director of ABARES, Paul Morris, said that despite the overall favourable outlook, some producers of summer crops in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales have suffered hardship because of the untimely heavy rainfall and flooding.

“There is likely to be downgrading in crop quality and crop losses for these producers, however until the flood water recedes, the full extent of crop damage will be unclear,” Mr Morris said.

“Due to flooding generally affecting low-lying areas that comprise a small proportion of the total crop area, the effects of the flooding on total crop production are expected to be small.

“Yields outside the areas not inundated with flood water are expected to be above average and summer crop production is forecast to be the highest on record.”

Total summer crop production is forecast to rise by 18 per cent in 2011-12 to 5.4 million tonnes, which reflects the favourable outlook for yields for cotton and grain sorghum.

The total summer crop area is estimated to be largely unchanged in 2011-12 at 1.6 million hectares.

Cotton and grain sorghum production is forecast to increase by 20 per cent and 13 per cent to around 1.1 million tonnes and 2.3 million tonnes, respectively, with rice production forecast to increase by 27 per cent to 923,000 tonnes.

Generally favourable conditions over the growing season in the winter cropping zone is estimated to have resulted in a record Australian winter crop in 2011-12 at 45.4 million tonnes, a 7 per cent increase from 2010-11.

“A significant recovery in production in Western Australia is a major reason for the estimated record production nationally for winter crops,” Mr Morris said.

“In particular, Western Australian wheat production is estimated to have more than doubled from the 2010-11 season.”

While production in the eastern states is estimated to be smaller than the record crop last year, it is still estimated to be one of the largest on record.

Of the major winter crops in 2011-12: wheat production is estimated to be a record 29.5 million tonnes, compared with 27.9 million tonnes in 2010-11; barley production is estimated to have reached 8.6 million tonnes, 5 per cent higher than 2010-11; and canola production is estimated to have risen by 16 per cent to a record 2.8 million tonnes.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

February 2012

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