Australian crop report

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Australian crop report is a quarterly report that assesses crop condition and prospects for major field crops in Australia. It includes analysis of clim​​ate and ag​ronomic conditions and forecasts of area, yield and production in key producing states.

Australian Crop Report: February edition

Key issues

  • Drier and warmer than average seasonal conditions in the cropping regions in Queensland and northern New South Wales during December and January reduced prospects of summer crop production in 2018–19.
  • The unfavourable seasonal conditions curtailed the planting of dryland crops in the latter part of the planting window, lowered soil moisture levels and reduced yield prospects of dryland crops.
  • According to the Bureau of Meteorology climate outlook for March to May 2019 (issued 14 February 2019), rainfall in most cropping regions in Queensland and northern New South Wales is more likely to be below average than above average. This likelihood is generally stronger in Queensland.
  • Total area planted to summer crops is estimated to have decreased by 23% in 2018–19 to around 1.0 million hectares.
  • Estimated area planted to summer crops is 6% lower than the forecast ABARES published in the December 2018 Australian crop report. Forecast planting of grain sorghum late in the planting window did not take place because of unfavourable seasonal conditions and low levels of soil moisture in Queensland.
  • Total summer crop production is forecast to decrease by 33% to around 2.7 million tonnes.
  • Grain sorghum production is forecast to fall by 9% to 1.3 million tonnes, driven by an expected 10% fall in the average yield resulting from generally unfavourable conditions in most summer cropping regions.
  • Cotton production is forecast to fall by 42% to 581,000 tonnes of cotton lint and 821,000 tonnes of cottonseed because of an estimated 44% fall in the planted area. Planting of cotton was constrained by low water levels in irrigation dams serving cotton-growing regions and low soil moisture levels.
  • Rice production is forecast to fall by 83% to 104,000 tonnes because of low water allocations and high water prices in southern New South Wales.
  • Total Australian winter crop production is estimated to have decreased by 20% in 2018–19 to 30.4 million tonnes. This is a 4% upward revision to the forecast published in the December 2018 edition of Australian crop report, driven by better than expected production in Western Australia.
  • Production of all the major crops is estimated to have fallen, wheat by 19% to 17.3 million tonnes, barley by 7% to 8.3 million tonnes and canola by 41% to 2.2 million tonnes. Amongst other crops, chickpea production is estimated to have fallen by 76% to 281,000 tonnes and oats production by 21% to 888,000 tonnes.

Australian cropping land use

Map of Australia showing boundaries of Australian agricultural land use.  
Note: excludes sugarcane
Source: ABARES 2017, Catchment Scale Land Use of Australia - Update September 2017, ABARES, Canberra, November. CC BY 4.0.

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Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 2018

Download the full version of the Australian Crop Report: December 2018 No. 188.

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Australian Crop Report: February 2019​ No. 189 PDF 281.9 MB

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Last reviewed:
06 Mar 2019