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Rabobank Winter Crop Outlook predicts near-record planting

Winter Crop Outlook

Global agribusiness banking specialist, Rabobank, has released its 2021/22 Winter Crop Outlook report showing Australia’s national winter crop planting is forecast at 22.93 million hectares. 

This will be the second consecutive near-record winter crop planting, due to excellent prices and good seasonal conditions. It is up two per cent on last year and within one per cent of the nation’s record-high winter crop planting in 2016/17. This acreage represents an area eight per cent above the five-year average. 

According to the report, Australia’s estimated wheat harvest is 28.9M tonnes, barley is 10M tonnes and canola of 4.1M tonnes. 

Substantial rainfall and good soil moisture profiles across many parts of the country set Australia up for a strong winter grain crop, according to Rabobank grains and oilseeds analyst and report co-author Dennis Voznesenski. 

“With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a 60 to 75 per cent chance of the east coast and South Australia exceeding median rainfall for the next three months, this should set crops up well and have a positive impact on yields in those regions,” Voznesenski said. 

The report noted that some states had fared better than others due to seasonal conditions coming into planting. 

“While most regions had excellent opening rainfall, particularly in Western Australian and northern New South Wales, not all have been so fortunate,” Voznesenski said. 

“In parts of South Australia and western Victoria, less favourable conditions have meant we will not be able to factor in a year-on-year increase in area planted in those regions, despite prices incentivising many other regions to expand total area. 

“So, the forecast of further rainfall will be particularly welcome in South Australia and western Victoria, where the soil moisture profile was far less optimal than hoped for coming into planting,” he said. 

“For Western Australia, conditions have been very favourable for the opening to the planting season due to the rainfall associated with Cyclone Seroja. So, while WA is only forecast to receive average to below-average rainfall in the next three months, the impact should be softened by the favourable soil moisture at planting.” 

Specifically, Rabobank’s Winter Crop Outlook has determined a three per cent increase in wheat planting (13.3M hectares), while canola planted areas are expected to climb by 14 per cent (2.7M hectares). Barley planting is down by around six per cent (4.2 million hectares), with oats declining eight per cent (0.9M hectares). 

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