CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA – Thanks to favorable weather conditions in the spring, Australian winter crop production in marketing year 2021-22 is forecast to reach a record 58.4 million tonnes, according to a report released on Nov. 30 by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (ABARES).

Record wheat production of 34.4 million tonnes – slightly higher than last year’s record and double the size of the drought-stricken 2018-19 and 2019-20 wheat crops – is also projected.

“The national record is driven by expected all-time high production in Western Australia and the second highest on record in New South Wales. Production in other states is also well above average,” said Jared Greenville, executive director of ABARES.

The report also noted that barley production is forecast at 13.3 million tonnes – the second largest crop ever – and a record canola crop of 5.7 million tonnes is also expected.

But there was some bad news.

“A series of heavy rainfall events during November has delayed the harvest of winter crops across New South Wales and Queensland likely leading to a fall in grain quality in unharvested crops,” Greenville said.

“Flooding in northern and central parts of New South Wales has also resulted in production losses for some producers, but this is not expected to significantly affect state totals.”

ABARES reported that the mice plague that impacted Australian grain production a year ago has been successfully thwarted “with increased baiting on farms during winter and spring reducing populations in affected regions, and there have been no reports of significant damage.”

The ABARES report said area planted to summer crops in 2021–22 is forecast to increase by 36% to reach 1.4 million hectares, “due to favorable soil moisture levels in late spring and high water storage levels.”

The Australian Crop Report can be read on the ABARES website.