03/10/2006 - 22:00

2005-06 second highest crop

03/10/2006 - 22:00

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Western Australia recorded its second highest winter crop in 2005-06 at 14.4 million tonnes (mt), just trailing 2003-04 with 16.7mt.

2005-06 second highest crop

Western Australia recorded its second highest winter crop in 2005-06 at 14.4 million tonnes (mt), just trailing 2003-04 with 16.7mt.

WA experienced a bumper start to the season, with well-timed autumn rains setting up planting for what looked like the best start in the past decade.

But from July onwards, lower than required rainfall and heavy frosts impacted northern and central regions of the WA cropping belt, reducing yield potential, and eventually producing a 9.4mt wheat harvest.

Canola crops experienced excellent conditions, with WA producing 630,000 tonnes, 43 per cent of Australia’s total canola crop.

Barley production increased by close to 500,000 tonnes to 2.6mt.

Wheat prices have been in steady decline over the past few years. But according to the Western Australian Farmers Federation, the 2006-07 cropping year will most likely see wheat prices rise due to an extremely tight stocks to use ratio, with global demand outstripping supply.

It is also forecast that China will enter the market as a wheat importer after almost three years of exporting and self-sufficiency.

This is good news for farmers, who are looking down the barrel of a below average season for 2006-07. The WA Department of Agriculture is forecasting an 8.5mt harvest, the lowest since the 2002-03 drought-affected cropping season.

Cattle exports (per head) experienced a 10 per cent drop from 2004 to 2005, with beef exports (per ‘000 tonnes) remaining mostly unchanged.

WAFF’s mid-year projections for 2006 are for a 2.1 per cent increase in cattle exports and a 1.6 per cent increase in beef exports, with the Korean and Japanese markets looking bullish.

However, with the south of the state experiencing drought conditions, and a shortage of available feed stock, these projections will most likely not be met.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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