Total Australian winter crop production is estimated to have increased by 49% in 2016–17..
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CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Production of wheat, one of Australia’s major winter crops, is estimated to have risen 45% to a record high of 35.1 million tonnes in 2016-17, Australia’s department of Agriculture and Water Resources (ABARES) said in a February report.


Total Australian winter crop production is estimated to have increased by 49% in 2016–17 to 58.9 million tonnes. The estimate represents a 12% upward revision to the December 2016 ABARES crop report forecast. The revision was the result of yields being higher than anticipated and reaching unprecedented levels in most regions.

Barley production is up by 56% to another record high of 13.4 million tonnes, canola production in 2016-17 is equal to the record high of 4.1 million tonnes achieved in 2012–13.

Australian rainfall percentiles, Nov. 2016 - Jan. 2017.
Note: Rainfall percentiles are displayed for cropping regions only.
Graphic courtesy of ABARES.
Drier and warmer-than-average seasonal conditions in the cropping regions of Queensland and northern New South Wales over the past three months have reduced prospects for summer crop production in 2016–17. The recent unfavourable seasonal conditions have lowered soil moisture levels, curtailed the planting of summer crops in the latter part of the planting window and adversely affected yield prospects for dryland crops. The timing and quantity of rainfall over the remainder of the season will be critical to the ongoing development of dryland summer crops.


Rainfall is likely to be below average and temperatures above average for the remainder of the summer crop season, according to the Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook for February to April 2017.

Planting of summer crops is now largely complete and total area planted to summer crops is estimated to have increased by 15% in 2016-17 to around 1.4 million hectares. The increase in planted area was driven by plentiful supplies of irrigation water and favorable planting conditions early in the planting window. Total summer crop production is forecast to rise by 12% to 4.2 million tonnes.