Favourable weather conditions across grain growing regions of Australia throughout the season have helped the nation’s crop farmers deliver a record harvest, according to an Australian crop update.
Expected to exceed 53million tonnes, the 2016-17 harvest is set to be the highest on record and 34 per cent higher than last season, according to Rural Bank and Rural Finance’s February 2017 Australian Crop Update.
The challenge now for growers will be to secure the best price for their grain, as prices are predicted to remain under downward pressure both domestically and internationally.
The new report, launched by specialist insights team Ag Answers, provides producers and industry with a concise analysis of the current national and world crop production estimates, seasonal conditions, prices, demand and financial performance of Australia’s cropping farms.
Rural Bank and Rural Finance agribusiness general manager Andrew Smith said the wet conditions throughout winter and spring had been a game changer for Australia’s crop farmers.
‘‘Despite initial concerns about frost damage affecting Western Australian crops in the early growing season, good weather conditions for the rest of the year have meant that our crop farmers are experiencing record yields,’’ Mr Smith said.
‘‘Although domestic and global crop prices remain under pressure due to strong supply — particularly for wheat and barley — prices are expected to stay within recent ranges.’’
The new report revealed Australia was not alone in producing record high crop yields in 2016-17, with global wheat production levels also predicted to reach all-time highs.
‘‘With Australian production now known, all eyes will be firmly fixed on the performance outlook for the Northern Hemisphere grain and oilseed markets, as this will greatly affect market activity over the next few months,’’ Mr Smith said.
Most states are nearing the end of this year’s harvest, while Tasmania is not expected to finish until late March due to wet winter conditions and delayed sowing.
■To view the Australian Crop Update, visit ruralbank.com.au/crop