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Australia bumper grain season tipped
NATIONAL NEWS, June 9, 2004
A Sprinkling of rain at the right time is set to help farmers reap a bumper winter crop despite the threat of drought in parts of the country.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics said yesterday the winter crop would come in at a healthy 36.7 million tonnes.

Although down 2.6 million tonnes on the record 2003 crop, it will still be one of the largest on record.

The wheat crop is expected to fall 1.7 million tonnes to 23.2 million tonnes, barley is tipped to drop 700,000 tonnes to 7.8 million tonnes and canola is forecast to drop 100,000 tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes.

ABARE said the drop in production was almost solely due to a reduction in crop yields.

The 2003 crop was helped by paddocks being left fallow during the 2002 drop, providing a yield boost.

ABARE executive director Mr Brian Fisher said the crop could be better, depending on rain in southern parts of NSW, northern Victoria, most grain areas of South Australia and the eastern cropping belt of Western Australia.

“Autumn rainfall across the grain belt was variable and some southern areas are still waiting for sufficient planting rains to allow winter crops to be sown,” he said.

“While it is becoming too late in most areas to plant canola, wheat and barley can still be planted up to the end of June without significant yield penalties.”

The canola crop, well down on the long-term average, has been particularly affected by the late autumn break.

Farmers in parts of the Victorian Mallee and eastern South Australia have been forced to plant barley and wheat rather than canola because of the lack of rain and soil moisture.
MGR Archive 10.6.2004
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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