“Marge, The Grains Are ‘ere”

The ABARES December crop report was released early this month to summarise and assess state crop yields, projections and seasonal conditions. Throughout most cropping areas in Australia the seasonal conditions this year during late winter and spring favoured high yields.


Above average rainfall was seen across most regions in the eastern states during September. Whilst for most this provided ample soil moisture and ideal conditions for grain development, for others it produced waterlogged crops and a not so ideal growing environment. Across the media, one would assume Western Australia had above average rainfall due to high crop yields, but they had average rainfall. The key was it was well timed and adequate to assist in grain development. However, like the eastern states, some parts of WA were also adversely affected with harsh frosts damaging grain growth.

Rainfall Outlook: December 2016 – February 2017 is predicted to be drier and warmer than average which will assist harvest (Bureau of Meterorology)

Winter Crop Production:

The ABARES have reviewed their September Australian crop report forecasts and now predict that total winter crop production will be 14% higher than originally thought.

  • Forecast total winter crop production: 52.4 million tonnes 
  • Each state has higher production forecasts
  • Total winter crop production is set to rise 32% for the 2016-2017 period

Winter Forecast Productions:

  • Wheat – 35% rise to 32.6 million tonnes (record high)
  • Barley – 24% rise to 10.6 million tonnes (record high)
  • Canola – 22% rise to 3.6 million tonnes (third-highest on record)

Summer Crops:

A rise of 15% is predicted for the total area planted to summer crops totalling 1.4 million hectares during 2016-2017. This is due to increased sub-soil moisture and an increased supply of irrigation water.

  • Area planted to grain sorghum is set to fall 31% to 471,000 hectares in 2016-2017 (lowest in 24 years)
  • Area planted to rice predicted to quadruple to 90,000 hectares, however, this may be restricted due to a late harvest in southern NSW

Summer Crop Forecast Productions:

  • Total summer crop production predicted to increase 21% to 4.6 million tonnes in 2016-2017 period
  • Cotton – 64% rise to ~1.0 million tonnes of cotton lint & ~1.5 million tonnes of cotton seed (forecast numbers is a reflection on predicted doubling of planted area during 2016-2017)
  • Grain sorghum – 29% decrease to ~1.4 million tonnes
  • Rice – 916,000 tonne rise, triple the rise predicted of the last season

Source: ABARES

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