Crop­ping fore­casts drop sharply from last year’s record highs

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

FOL­LOW­ING ex­cep­tion­ally high crop yields in 2016-17, Aus­tralia’s to­tal win­ter crop pro­duc­tion is fore­cast to de­crease 39% but still re­main above the 10-year av­er­age to 2015-16.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources Barn­aby Joyce said the lat­est fore­cast, re­leased by the Aus­tralian Bureau of Agri­cul­tural and Re­source Eco­nom­ics and Sciences, demon­strated the im­pact vari­able weather con­di­tions was hav­ing on Aus­tralia’s crop­ping re­gions.

“Aus­tralia is a big coun­try with a vari­able cli­mate and highly fluc­tu­at­ing rain­fall, so it is un­re­al­is­tic to ex­pect that all of our crops will be grow­ing well at all times,” Mr Joyce said.

“Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est ABARES fore­cast, we will see a 39% drop in to­tal win­ter crop pro­duc­tion to 36.3 mil­lion tonnes as a re­sult of mixed sea­sonal con­di­tions.

“What we have to re­mem­ber though is this fore­cast dip is com­ing off the back of Aus­tralia’s big­gest win­ter crop on record last sea­son at over 59.3 mil­lion tonnes, and yields are fore­cast to re­main above the 10-year av­er­age to 2015-16.”

Mr Joyce said farm­ers had ex­pe­ri­enced be­low av­er­age and highly vari­able rain­fall dur­ing win­ter in most Aus­tralian crop­ping re­gions, which had ad­versely af­fected crop con­di­tion in some of Aus­tralia’s key crop­ping re­gions.

How­ever crops are in gen­er­ally good con­di­tion go­ing into spring in Vic­to­ria, eastern South Aus­tralia, south­ern and eastern New South Wales and south­ern Western Aus­tralia.

The Septem­ber 2017 edi­tion of Aus­tralian Crop Re­port is avail­able on­line at www.agri­cul­ture.gov.au/ abares/pub­li­ca­tions.

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