Wheat production increased by 9% over the previous year, to 29.9 million tonnes nationally. This increase was driven by strong harvests in Western Australia (up by 121% to 11.0 million tonnes) and Queensland (up by 23% to 1.9 million tonnes). The remaining states all reported falls in production due in part to heavy rains and pest problems. The area planted to wheat was up by 3% to 14.0 million hectares nationally.
The 2011-12 canola harvest has been the largest on record at 3.4 million tonnes. All states, apart from Queensland and Tasmania, reported increases in production. The largest increases were reported in Western Australia (up by 71% to 1.2 million tonnes), New South Wales (up by 34% to 1.1 million tonnes) and Victoria (up by 42% to 674,000 tonnes). The increase in production was due to a significant increase in area planted (up 18% to 2.5 million hectares nationally), combined with favourable weather conditions and good prices from increased demand in Europe for canola for bio-diesel.
Lupin production increased nationally by 21% over the previous year, to 977,000 tonnes. The increase was driven by Western Australia, where favourable weather conditions contributed to a better than average growing season. Production in Western Australia rose by 96% to 779,000 tonnes. The increase in Western Australia was partly offset by a marked decrease in production in New South Wales, down by 68% to 79,900 tonnes. These lower than expected figures appear to be caused by poor market conditions and natural crop rotation. The total area planted to lupins nationally fell by 9% to 691,000 hectares, with the largest fall reported in New South Wales, consistent with the decrease in production in that state.
Total area planted to sugar cane in 2011-12 increased by 7% to 329,000 hectares nationally, reversing the downward trend evident over recent years. Despite this, production continued to fall, down 5% over the previous year to 23.9 million tonnes, due mainly to flooding in the New South Wales growing area and extreme weather conditions in Queensland.
The 2011-12 cotton harvest produced a record 944,000 tonnes, up by 12% over the previous year. Despite this, there was a slight decrease in the total area planted to cotton. Both New South Wales and Queensland recorded increased production, with New South Wales up by 17% to 581,000 tonnes and Queensland up by 5% to 362,000 tonnes. Although some areas were affected by bad weather, dryland crops did quite well due to the second consecutive year of increased rainfalls improving the soil moisture content.
Footnote(s): (a) Data for 2011 are preliminary and may be subject to revision;
Source(s): Principal Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 7111.0)
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