Aussie farmers looking forward to top crop

7 September 2021
  • ABARES’s Australian Crop Report forecasts another strong year for winter crops
  • Canola harvest forecast to be highest on record 
  • Record 23.2 million hectares sown to winter crops across the country

This year’s winter crop is once again forecast to be well above average, according to the ABARES Australian Crop Report.

Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud, says this year’s winter crop is shaping up to be a cracker, with a record high amount of country planted. 

“This year’s harvest is projected to be 54.8 million tonnes, with a record breaking with 23.2 million hectares planted,” Minister Littleproud said.

“While slightly down on last year’s harvest, 2020-21 was the second largest winter crop on record and we’re still in for a huge winter crop. This year’s harvest is estimated to be more than 30per cent above the ten-year average to 2020-21.

“This is also set to be a record-breaking year for canola. The canola harvest is set to reach 5 million tonnes, an increase of 11 per cent. 

“Canola was worth $1.4 billion nationally in 2019-20. Production of wheat and barley are expected to fall but still be in the top two to three tonnages ever recorded.

“We’ve had either average or above average rainfall in most cropping regions this winter, and we’re now looking at similar projections for spring rain.

“Of concern for farmers will be the possibility that mouse numbers will increase this spring and ongoing border closures making access to heavy machinery operators in particular challenging.

“At the moment, mouse numbers are at their highest in southern Queensland and northern and central New South Wales. There are also high populations in central Queensland and around Geraldton in Western Australia.

“While higher mouse numbers are not expected to significantly reduce national production, they are likely to have localised effects by increase production costs and may affect grain stored on-site in affected regions.

“There is support available for farmers impacted by mouse numbers. We have recently launched a webpage for impacted farmers to access the resources they need.”

“The Australian Government is working to ensure that where needed there are visas available to essential agricultural workers. 

“Ensuring appropriate quarantine places, a state responsibility, remains the key barrier to stepping up the number of workers that can arrive from either interstate or overseas. 

“We also need to see states that are yet to sign up to the Agricultural Workers Code do so to enable them to have access to the pool of Australian workers ready and willing to help our farmers bring in the harvest.”