17/09/2021 - 12:31

Frost, dry spring impact tonnage estimates

17/09/2021 - 12:31

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A lack of spring rain and recent frost events are likely to reduce final grain crop tonnage in the state, but a record-breaking harvest is still within reach.

Tonnage is now estimated to reach 19.3mt. Photo: David Henry

A lack of spring rain and recent frost events are likely to reduce final grain crop tonnage in the state, but a record-breaking harvest is still within reach, according to the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia.

GIWA’s September crop report said the cold temperatures experienced in early September would reduce deliveries by growers in the worst-hit areas by at least 50 per cent on previous estimates.

There were also several frost events in late August.

At the same time as frost and cold temperatures were reducing potential grain yield, dry conditions have affected crops in the northern grain growing regions.

In August, GIWA predicted the state would record a record tonnage of 20mt.

Tonnage is now estimated to reach 19.3mt.

The 2021 season is expected to produce 10.6mt of wheat, 5mt of barley and 2.4mt of canola.

These figures will still surpass the last record-breaking crop in 2016 when 18.2mt was harvested.

The Geraldton zone, which was looking like it would produce an excellent crop three weeks ago, has been hit hard by a lack of rainfall and several hot days in a row.

If there is no more useful rain in the northern and eastern growing regions, total grain production could slide further, GIWA said.

Albany East and the Esperance Zone are still on track to record positive yields.

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