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Australia Harvests Bumper Crop, But Quality A Concern

08 December 2011

AUSTRALIA - Australia is harvesting more wheat, canola and barley than expected. The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences released its December crop report on Tuesday.

Wheat production is forecast to increase to 28.3 million tonnes, up one per cent from last year and up eight per cent from the last forecast in September, reports

It expects wheat exports will climb to a record 21.6 million tonnes, up from 18.64 million tonnes last year. In the mid 2000s during the country’s extended drought, it was exporting less than nine million tonnes annually.

Barley production is forecast to rise by four per cent from last year to 8.5 million tonnes, while canola production is forecast to increase by five per cent to 2.5 million tonnes.

In September ABARES forecast a barley crop of 8.3 million tonnes and canola production of 2.3 million tonnes.

Yields in eastern states are a little below last year’s bumper level, but that was more than compensated for by a much larger crop in Western Australia.

Total winter crop production is forecast to be around 43.4 million tonnes in 2011–12. That would be the largest winter crop on record and represents an increase from the September ABARES forecast of 41 million tonnes.

Wheat protein levels are expected to be relatively low across a number of winter cropping regions. A wet finish, combined with depleted nitrogen levels in soils, has contributed to this.

Of the canola crop, abut 975 000 tonnes will come from Western Australia.

Of the canola harvested, quality has reportedly been good, with oil content averaging around 43 per cent.

It expects to export 1.88 million tonne of canola, up from 1.51 million last year.

TheCropSite News Desk

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