​Media Release

Mixed forecast in winter crop outlook

13 June 2018

  • Winter crop production to decrease slightly to 38 million tonnes, due to seasonal conditions. 
  • Wheat and barley production expected to increase, canola and chickpeas expected to decrease.
  • Latest summer crop estimated to increase by 13 per cent, driven by sorghum and cotton.​

The latest Australian crop report shows a mixed outlook for the nation's key crops.

A slight decrease is forecast for total winter production, but small increases are expected for wheat and barley yields.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud said varied seasonal conditions have led to varied crop outcomes across cropping regions.

"While our total winter crop production is forecast to decrease slightly to 38 million tonnes, some small increases are expected," Minister Littleproud said.

"This includes an increase in wheat production to 22 million tonnes and barley production to 9.2 million tonnes.

"Good May rain for most grain-growing regions in Western Australia, South Australia and some parts of New South Wales assisted in the sowing of winter crops.

"But lower than average autumn rain in Queensland and northern New South Wales has had an impact on how much farmers could plant there.

"We now all have our fingers crossed for good rains over the next few months so we can have a successful winter harvest."

​The total area planted in winter crops is forecast to fall by 4 per cent, but a significant increase is forecast for area planted to barley, up 10 per cent to 4.3 million hectares.

This is more than offset by forecast decreases in area planted to wheat, canola, chickpeas and oats.

"Total summer crop production is also estimated to have increased by 13 per cent in 2017-18 off the back of increased grain sorghum and cotton production.

"Sorghum production is estimated to have increased 45 per cent in 2017-18 to 1.4 million tonnes.

"Cotton production is estimated to have risen 17 per cent to 1 million tonnes of lint and 1.5 million tonnes of seed."

The June 2018 Australian Crop Report is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/crop-report.

Fast Facts:

  • The ABARES Australian crop report is a quarterly report that assesses crop condition and prospects for major field crops in Australia.
  • According to the latest forecast from ABARES:
    • Wheat and barley production both expected to increase by 3 per cent to 22 million tonnes and 9.2 million tonnes, respectively
    • Canola production forecast to fall by 16 per cent to 3.1 million tonnes and
    • Chickpea production forecast to decline 40 per cent to 616,000 tonnes and oats production is forecast to remain largely unchanged at 1.1 million tonnes
    • Total area planted to winter crops is forecast to decrease by 4 per cent to 21.1 million hectares
    • Decreases forecast for total area planted to canola, chickpeas and lentils
    • Winter rainfall for June to August 2018 is likely to be around average in cropping regions in Western Australia but below average in most other cropping regions