Western Australia winter crop surges back to 15.653Mt


WIDESPREAD rain over the central regions of Western Australia in the past month have arrested the slide in winter crop grain yields and added at least 500,000 tonnes to the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia’s (GIWA) latest estimate for WA production.


GIWA is now predicting the state will produce 15.653 million tonnes (Mt) of winter crop, up 9.9 per cent from last month’s estimate.

The rise in cereal estimates now sees the state’s wheat production likely to reach 9.1Mt and barley 3.9Mt.

GIWA Oilseeds Council chair and report author, Michael Lamond, said as harvest gathered pace, yields were proving better than expected thanks to the improved conditions of the past month.

“Rain since the last report across the central area was just in the nick of time for the wheat. It added quite a bit of tonnage,” he said.

“Since then it has been unusually cool across the whole wheat belt. So, in the north where growers had been thinking the worst, the cooler temperatures allowed the crops to finish more slowly and they have come back to how they were looking before.”

Mr Lamond said while grain protein levels were low, the above average yields were likely to see the current projections being exceeded.

“Total tonnage for the state is now on track for an above average harvest with some upside to our current estimates,” he said.

“There are 1.6 million hectares of barley, the largest ever. Only small increases will give a kick there. With wheat, even the bad areas aren’t as bad as people thought. So, I think there is some upside to the tonnage.

“We are only predicting 1.4 million tonnes of canola across the state. It could go more than that because every paddock that is being harvested in the north is going better than thought.”

Mr Lamond said harvest was progressing throughout the state.

“They are well into harvest up north. They are just getting cranked up in West Kwinana. In East Kwinana there is a fair bit of barley that has come off and they have started on the wheat. They are just getting underway at Esperance. There is not a lot harvested yet south of the Great Eastern Highway, although there has been a fair bit of harvesting gone on east of Kellerberrin, Narembeen and Bruce Rock where they got the crops in a bit earlier,” he said.

Source: GIWA.




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