The total area planted to winter crops in Australia is forecast to rise by 1% in 2014–15 to 22.6 million hectares, largely because of expected favourable gross margins from growing wheat and canola.
This is stated in the recently released Australian crop report, Prepared by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
The area planted to wheat is forecast to rise by 2% to 13.8 million hectares, reflecting an increase in the area planted to wheat in all states. Additionally, the area planted to canola is forecast to rise by 3% to 2.7 million hectares. In contrast, the area planted to barley is forecast to fall by 4% to 3.8 million hectares.
Total winter crop production is forecast to fall by 12% in 2014–15 to around 38.8 million tonnes. This primarily reflects an assumed fall in yields in Western Australia and South Australia from the above average yields achieved in the previous year. Wheat production is forecast to fall by 9% to 24.6 million tonnes; barley production is forecast to decline by 22% to 7.5 million tonnes; and canola production is forecast to fall by 8% to 3.5 million tonnes.
Sufficient and timely rainfall over winter will be critical to the development of winter crops, particularly in those areas where soil moisture levels are presently low. Yields are likely to be lower than currently assumed if sufficient and timely rainfall is not received.
Source: Australian Government Department of Agriculture
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