Australian Crop Report: September edition
Most cropping regions in Victoria had a late start to the winter cropping season when below average autumn rainfall delayed seeding. Above average rainfall in June and July allowed growers to complete seeding and provided ideal conditions for crop establishment and growth. Lower layer soil moisture levels were above average in early August in most cropping regions, which provided crops with a buffer against below average August rainfall. Crops in most regions were in a strong position at the end of winter.
The latest three-month rainfall outlook (September to November), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 2 September 2021, indicates that spring rainfall is very likely to be above median in all cropping regions in Victoria. It is also highly likely that northern cropping regions will receive rainfall in September that is above average.
The favourable outlook for spring rainfall, combined with the solid foundation laid during winter, means yield prospects are average to above average in most cropping regions. Some northern cropping regions will need the timely rainfall expected in early spring. However, well above average spring rainfall may delay harvests and cause waterlogging issues in southern cropping regions. There is a risk that prolonged waterlogging may cause damage to yield prospects in affected regions.
Winter crop production in Victoria is forecast to fall by 20% in 2021–22 to 7.7 million tonnes. This follows record high production in 2020–21 with forecast production in 2021–22 still being 11% above the 10-year average to 2020–21. Area planted to winter crops is estimated to be largely unchanged at 3.3 million hectares. A late start to the winter cropping season caused some area to be planted to cereals that would otherwise have been planted to canola in the Mallee and the Northern Plains.
Wheat production is forecast to fall by 22% in 2021–22 to almost 3.7 million tonnes, largely reflecting an expected fall in the average yield from last season's near record high.
Barley production is forecast to fall by 17 % in 2021–22 to 2.3 million tonnes. This reflects an estimated 2% fall in planted area to 850,000 hectares and an expected 15% fall in average yield from last season's near record high.
Canola production is forecast to fall by 18% in 2021–22 to around 900,000 tonnes, largely reflecting a 20% fall in the average yield to around 2 tonnes per hectare. Estimates of canola production in 2020–21 in Victoria were revised up from 950,000 tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes on account of evidence provided by trade data and domestic use.
Note: Yields are based on area planted. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed. Percent change are relative to last year.