ABARES confirms first crop ever above 60 million tonnes

BIN BURSTER: 2021-22 was the biggest year for winter crop production on record according to ABARES.
BIN BURSTER: 2021-22 was the biggest year for winter crop production on record according to ABARES.

THE AUSTRALIAN 2021-22 winter crop broke all time production records and the 2022 summer crop is also set to be among the highest on record when harvest is complete.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences upwardly revised the winter crop 6 per cent to 61.9 million tonnes, up from the December estimate of 58.4m tonnes, the first time the national crop has pushed through the 60m tonne mark.

The summer crops is forecast to be the fourth highest on record.

ABARES executive director Jared Greenville said the forecaster's expectations had been 'smashed', primarily on the back of better than expected yields in WA and NSW.

All three of Australia's major broadacre crops, wheat, barley and canola posted record production.

Wheat tonnes came in at 36.3m tonnes, barley at 13.7m tonnes and canola at 6.4m tonnes.

However, he said while the crop was a record in terms of tonnage there had been issues with quality due to harvest rain.

"It hasn't all been smooth sailing - the effects of a wet spring and summer have meant that a lot of the grain in New South Wales has been subject to weather damage and a degradation in quality," Dr Greenville said.

He said the silver lining of the winter crop harvest rain was the boost it gave the summer crop.

"It's also been an extraordinary season for summer crops in Queensland and northern New South Wales."

"We've had well above average rainfall during late spring and summer to support production prospects.

"While there were flooding conditions in November that damaged early plantings of summer crops, overall the conditions have been very favourable.

At present summer crop production in Australia is forecast to rise by 64pc year on year in 2021-22 to 5.3 million tonnes, one of the highest on record.

"We also estimate that the area sown for summer crops to have risen by 48pc to 1.5 million hectares, which is 35pc above the 10-year average to 2020-21," Dr Greenville said.

And he said the optimism continued on to this year's winter crop.

"For the year ahead, there is a lot to be optimistic about."

"According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook, issued by the Bureau of Meteorology in February, rainfall during autumn is more likely to be above average in most cropping regions.

"While we know that La Nina can't last, we can still expect good autumn rains to finish off the summer crops and support winter crop plantings in 2022-23."