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More rainfall required for good winter harvest: govt data
14/06/2012 - Winter crop planting is well under way but more rain is needed for a good harvest, the latest government data shows.
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The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) June crop report, released on Wednesday, says timely rainfall throughout dry periods in eastern Australia and heavy flooding early in the year created good cropping conditions in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
But more rain through winter will be needed for crops to establish root systems and access the moisture in the soil.
However, in Western Australia conditions for crop planting and establishment have generally been poor.
"Winter crop production will be reliant on timely rainfall over winter and spring, particularly in Western Australia and some eastern cropping areas where sandy soils have lower water holding capacity," ABARES acting executive director Kim Ritman said in a statement.
The total area sown for winter crops is forecast to drop by two per cent in 2012/13 to about 22.2 million hectares.
This reflects expected lower farmgate prices for cereals and the dry start to the season, the report states.
The area of wheat and barley crops has dropped, but the amount of canola sown has jumped by almost a quarter.
Canola is fetching the highest price of the three.
Harvesting of summer crops is almost finished and total production is estimated to have risen by 19 per cent from the previous year.
Dr Ritman said while flooding in the eastern states in early 2012 heavily affected some individual producers, the effect on total crop production was small.
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