La Niña yields record crops

Agribusiness March 17, 2022

Executive Director of ABARES Dr Jared Greenville said the Australian Crop Report showed winter crop production was revised to an even higher record, while summer crops are forecast to be the fourth highest on record.

“Winter crop harvests have smashed our expectations back in December,” Dr Greenville said. “Now that the winter crop harvest is complete, the national winter crop production is estimated to reach a record 61.9 million tonnes.

“This is being supported by record production for wheat, barley and canola.

“Western Australian production reached record heights, while New South Wales had near-record levels of production.

“It hasn’t all been smooth sailing – the effects of a wet spring and summer have meant that a lot of the grain in New South Wales has been subject to weather damage and a degradation in quality.

“It’s also been an extraordinary season for summer crops in Queensland and northern New South Wales. We’ve had well above average rainfall during late spring and summer to support production prospects.

“While there were flooding conditions in November that damaged early plantings of summer crops, overall, the conditions have been very favourable,” Dr Greenville said.

“At the moment, summer crop production in Australia is forecast to rise by 64 per cent in 2021–22 to 5.3 million tonnes, one of the highest on record.

“We also estimate that the area sown for summer crops to have risen by 48 per cent to 1.5 million hectares, which is 35 per cent above the 10-year average to 2020–21.

“For the year ahead, there is a lot to be optimistic about. According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (March to May), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology in February, rainfall during autumn is more likely to be above average in most cropping regions.

“While we know that La Nina can’t last, we can still expect good autumn rains to finish off the summer crops and support winter crop plantings in 2022–23.”

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