Harvest projections for winter crops have been slashed 42% below the five year average by Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics thanks to disappointing spring rains.
ABARE now expects a wheat crop of 12.1 million tonnes, 22% less than the mid-September forecasts.
In some regions, the crop will be worse than last year. The NSW crop will be the state’s smallest harvest since 1994-95.
The lack of rainfall, combined with hotter than average daytime temperatures and strong winds, has damaged yield potential and in many areas has resulted in total crop failure.
Phillip Glyde, executive director of ABARE, says livestock have also been affected by the deterioration in seasonal conditions, with farmers continuing to reduce stock numbers.
“High yardings of cattle, sheep and lambs during September and the first three weeks of October have led to lower saleyard prices,” he says.
The revised predictions are made in a drought update.