CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australian farmers have harvested their largest-ever wheat crop, according to the latest crop report issued by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences issued Feb. 16. ABARES estimated the 2020-21 Australian wheat crop at 33.337 million tonnes, up 18.172 million tonnes, or 120%, from the drought-reduced 2019-20 outturn of 15.165 million tonnes.

The 2020-21 wheat crop was 5% larger than the previous record outturn of 31.819 million tonnes in 2016-17 and compared with the recent five-year average outturn of 21.6 million tonnes.

“Harvesting of winter crops (including wheat) is now largely complete,” ABARES said in commentary accompanying its crop report. “National production is estimated to have increased 89% in 2020-21 to 55.2 million tonnes, 7.4% higher than the forecast presented in the December 2020 edition of the Australian crop report. The upward revision was the result of yields continuing to exceed initial forecasts as harvest progressed, particularly in New South Wales and Western Australia.”

The higher estimate for 2020-21 wheat production will be reflected in the March US Department of Agriculture World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, which will be issued on March 9.

The current USDA forecast for 2020-21 Australian wheat production was 30 million tonnes.