The report is a quarterly report with a consistent and regular assessment of crop prospects for major field crops, forecasts of area, yield and production and a summary of seasonal conditions on a state by state basis.
Key issues • There has been a generally favourable start to the 2016-17 winter crop season, especially in Western Australia. Seasonal conditions have been more varied in the eastern states but there was timely above average rainfall in late autumn and early winter in these states.
• According to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (June to August 2016) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 26 May 2016, winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions.
• The total area planted to winter crops in Australia is forecast to increase by around 1 per cent in 2016-17 to 22.3 million hectares. The area planted to canola, oats and some pulses is forecast to increase. However, the area planted to wheat and barley is forecast to decline, reflecting more favourable expected returns from growing other crops.
• Total winter crop production is forecast to rise by 7 per cent in 2016-17 to 42.3 million tonnes, which largely reflects a forecast increase in average yields.
• Harvesting of 2015-16 summer crops is now largely complete. Total Australian summer crop production is estimated to have fallen by 13 per cent in 2015-16 to 3.7 million tonnes, largely because of a fall in rice production