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  • Rikki Lambert

1 in 6 NSW crops abandoned but national farming picture still nudging records: ABARES

Australian farmers may be heading for another record winter cropping harvest but it is a gloomy picture for NSW and northern Victorian farmers, according to the nation's peak farm forecasting agency.

However, an end to the La Niña weather cycle could also be in sight, according to Executive Director Jared Greenville:

"They're starting to predict La Niña will start to break down and we could even start to go into the El Niño in the next period, but we should have a buffer to ease that impact if that was to eventuate. We hope for more neutral conditions as we go into next year.
"The (Victorian) Mallee and Wimmera we've seen weather systems have brought pretty high rainfall benefiting them promoting yields and production. We're seeing much higher production than forecast for those regions. That's been offset by some of the northern regions where we've seen about 7 per cent crop abandonment so far (in Victoria)."
"At the moment we're expecting there to be around 16 per cent of the (NSW) area that was planted to be abandoned due to the floods that have come through. That accounts for 2 million tonnes of winter crop.
"There's also continuing risks including in Victoria around the full extent of waterlogged areas, harvest is being delayed due to cooler conditions and we could even get more wet conditions come in."

Hear the full interview on the Flow podcast player below:

ABARES projects the 2022/23 winter crop, once it is all in, could be 62 million tonnes at a farmgate value of $85 billion, both near record levels. The projection has lifted by 7 million tonnes overall since ABARES' September projections, due in part to gains in production in Western Australia and South Australia.

Last week, SA's major grain handler said it expected the state winter crop to be over 11.5 million tonnes, whereas the state agriculture department, PIRSA, projected 12.1 million. The farmgate value of that crop is expected to be a record $4.4 billion, up $1.1 billion on the previous year. Primary Industries Minister Clare Scriven said on Thursday the forecast was fantastic news for SA farmers and the state economy:

"Even allowing for some downgrades of the grain quality due to weather damage, high global grain prices mean the harvest also has a record high farm gate value."


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