Australian wheat crop put at about 15 million tonnes

by Teresa Acklin
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   The 1993-94 Australian wheat crop is expected to total about 15 million tonnes, according to estimates by the Australian Wheat Board.

   That figure would be slightly less than 1992-93, when Australia harvested about 16 million tonnes.

   Western Australia has seen an increase in plantings, which probably will lead to increased production, the A.W.B. said. Early indications are the harvest in that state could approach 6.3 million tonnes, the largest crop since 1984-85.

   New South Wales has sown more than 2 million ha to wheat, with crop production expected at about 4.1 million tonnes.

   The large harvests in those two states is likely to offset anticipated production declines in Victoria and South Australia, where a total of about 3.7 million tonnes is expected.

   Dry conditions in Queensland should result in a wheat harvest of about 800,000 tonnes, which, if realized, would mark the third straight year production has fallen below the state's 10-year average. South Australia continued to be plagued by inadequate soil moisture through July and early August. In general, the condition of wheat across Australia was fair to good, a situation that was not expected to change until wheat came out of dormancy in September.