Australian agriculture is still on track for a bumper year according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), despite the impact of the devastating floods.
The ABARES Agricultural Commodities and Crop Reports, released this week, shows the sector setting new benchmarks in export commodities and high yields for winter crops. The gross value of agricultural production is forecast to be a near-record $85 billion in 2022-23, just shy of the record set the previous year.
The winter crop is forecast to be the second largest on record at over 62 million tonnes. Livestock production is expected to hold steady, contributing $34 billon to the national total.
Executive Director of ABARES Dr Jared Greenville said that while the spring rain has impacted production, yields and quality in some areas of the country, other areas are experiencing their best winter crops on record.
“Crops in Western Australia and South Australia benefitted the most from spring conditions, with total production in both states forecast to reach new record levels. Total production in Queensland is forecast to reach the second highest on record, despite parts of the Darling Downs missing out on plantings after being impacted by the floods.
“In other parts of the country, the results are mixed with both flooding and water-logging impacting winter crop production,” Dr Greenville said.
In Victoria, a record amount of crop has been planted this year. High yields in the Mallee and the Wimmera will offset crop losses in central and northern border regions. However, the full picture of damage to crops from extensive waterlogging remains an unknown.
Dr Greenville said New South Wales has borne the brunt of the damage from the spring rains and subsequent floods. The total production for New South Wales has been revised down by 2 million tonnes since the last Crop Report in September.
Considerable uncertainty remains over winter crop harvest progress and grain quality in New South Wales and Victoria given ongoing high rainfall, which could lead to downgrades in production value.