CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s overall winter crop production is expected to increase 9% to 51.3 million tonnes in 2024-25 and be the fifth highest on record, according to the June report from ABARES.

Wheat production is forecast to increase by 12% to 29.1 million tonnes while barley production is estimated to increase 7% to 11.5 million tonnes. Canola production is estimated to drop 5% to 5.4 million tonnes.

Overall planted area to winter crops is expected to remain historically high, increasing slightly to 23.6 million hectares, 6% above the 10-year average.

Conditions in Queensland and northern and central New South Wales have been close to ideal for the start of the winter cropping season. However, rainfall this fall has been lower than average across major cropping regions in western Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, and soil moisture has remained low.

Australian summer crop production is estimated to fall by 11% to 4.6 million tonnes in 2023–24. While down from last year, the total is 31% above the 10-year average, ABARES said.

“Summer crop prospects improved significantly following better-than-expected seasonal conditions during late spring and summer in Queensland and northern New South Wales,” ABARES said. “Falling production reflects an overall fall in planted area more than offsetting higher forecast yields.”

Harvesting of some summer crops has been delayed by autumn storms and rain across key summer cropping regions. This has resulted in a fall in grain and lint quality in some unharvested crops but did not significantly affect the production volumes of most later maturing crops.

It is likely that higher yields in other areas will more than offset any downgrades caused by wet harvest conditions.

Sorghum production is estimated to fall by 16% to 2.2 million tonnes in 2023–24. While this is down year-on-year it represents a 10% upwards revision from the March 2024 Australian Crop Report and it now sits 38% above the 10-year average.