Cropping

Favourable winter cropping season for Victoria

By Jamie Salter

Planting conditions have been favourable across Victoria at the beginning of the 2020 to 2021 cropping season, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences June crop report.

There was above average rainfall in many cropping regions in Victoria during autumn, which supported planting and crop establishment.

Winter rainfall is likely to be average in most cropping regions in Victoria, according to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on June 4.

Average winter rainfall and above average levels of lower layer soil moisture at the beginning of June may support above average yields in most regions.

In the event of lower than average spring rainfall, it is likely there will be sufficient levels of lower layer soil moisture at the end of winter to carry crops through to harvest.

Area planted to winter crops in Victoria is forecast to increase by nine per cent in 2020 to 2021 to 3.4 million hectares, and production is expected to be supported by the increase in planted area.

Winter crop production in Victoria in 2020 to 2021 is forecast to be similar to last year, at around 7.4 million tonnes, which is 12 per cent above the 10-year average to 2019 to 2020.

Area planted to wheat in Victoria is forecast to increase by nine per cent in 2020 to 2021, to 1.6 million hectares, four per cent above the 10-year average.

Area planted to barley in Victoria is forecast to increase by six per cent in 2020 to 2021, to 870 000 hectares, close to the 10-year average.

Barley production is forecast to decrease by 11 per cent in 2020 to 2021 to 2.2 million tonnes, as a result of an expected fall in the average yield.

Area planted to canola in Victoria is forecast to increase by 17 per cent in 2020 to 2021, to 450 000 hectares, six per cent above the 10-year average.

Canola production is forecast to increase by 10 per cent in 2020 to 2021, to around 712 000 tonnes, with the forecast increase in planted area being partially offset by an expected fall in the average yield.

To read the ABARES report, visit: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/research-topics/agricultural-outlook/australian-crop-report