Australian agriculture, characterised by vast landscapes and diverse climatic conditions, holds a pivotal role in the nation’s economy and global food production. The sector encompasses a wide range of activities, from extensive livestock farming to the cultivation of various crops. Australia’s farmers are known for their resilience and adaptability, employing innovative practices to overcome the challenges posed by the continent’s unique environment. Sustainable farming methods, technological advancements, and a commitment to research and development have positioned Australian agriculture at the forefront of global agribusiness. With a focus on producing high-quality food and fibre, the sector contributes significantly to both domestic and international markets, playing a crucial role in the nation’s economic growth and food security. As Australia continues to navigate the complexities of agriculture, the industry remains a cornerstone of the country’s identity, fostering a deep connection between the land and its people.

In this blog, we have discussed the country’s wheat, barley, and canola harvest in 2023.

Let’s get started!

The anticipated total agricultural production values for the fiscal year 2023-24, as stated by David Galeano, the Acting Executive Director of ABARES, stand at $78 billion. While this projection is $16 billion less than the estimated production values for the preceding fiscal year 2022-23, it would nonetheless represent the third-highest result ever recorded.

Grain Harvest in 2023 for Wheat, Barley and Canola

In comparison to the estimates provided in the September report for the currently harvested crop, the wheat figure has increased by 0.27 percent, barley has seen a notable rise of 6.1 percent, and canola has experienced a significant increase of 7.2 percent. ABARES has revised its forecast for Australia’s total winter-crop production to 46.1 million metric tons, a slight uptick from the September estimate of 45.2 million metric tons. However, this figure remains slightly below the 10-year average and is 33 percent lower than the record-setting 2022-23 crop. The improved outlook in southern cropping regions is anticipated to outweigh reduced production in parts of New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia, contributing to the overall adjustment since September.

ABARES reports that the 2023-24 growing season witnessed mixed seasonal conditions across Australian winter-cropping regions. Following below-average rainfall in September, the situation improved with early October rainfall, particularly benefiting cropping regions in southern New South Wales, Victoria, and parts of South Australia. The unexpected rainfall, coupled with enhanced soil-moisture levels, proved advantageous for crops in these areas.

In contrast, the season started unfavourably in Queensland and northern New South Wales, and conditions worsened as the season progressed. Western Australia also experienced deteriorating seasonal conditions over spring, negatively impacting yield potential, especially in the northern cropping regions.

The national winter-crop harvest commenced earlier than usual due to hot and dries finishing conditions in Queensland, northern New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia. Moreover, this year’s harvest is progressing at a notably faster pace compared to recent years, attributed to lower yields, improved labour availability, and increased harvester capacity resulting from machinery investments.

While significant rainfall in late last month benefited much of eastern Australia; it has caused delays in the harvest across central and southern New South Wales, Victoria, and parts of South Australia.

As per the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest three-month rainfall outlook, which extends until February and was issued on November 23, there is no significant inclination towards above or below-median rainfall across the majority of cropping regions.

Projections indicate that December rainfall totals are anticipated to remain below 25mm for most southern cropping regions. This forecast is conducive to ensuring the timely completion of the national winter-crop harvest and minimising the potential for grain-quality downgrades typically associated with a wet harvest.

However, it is crucial to note that if higher-than-expected rainfall persists throughout this month, it could lead to additional quality downgrades in crops that are yet to be harvested.

Estimates for Australian wheat production in tons, broken down by state. *Subject to confirmation.

WHEAT TNS 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 2,222,000 2,305,000 1,400,000 1,100,000
NSW 12,029,000 10,260,000 6,600,000 6,600,000
Vic 4,246,000 5,393,000 4,100,000 4,619,000
SA 4,750,000 7,350,000 4,700,000 4,900,000
WA 12,919,000 13,800,000 8,500,000 8,150,000
Tas 70,000 82,500 85,000 85,000*
Total 36,236,000 39,190,500 25,385,000 25,454,000

Estimated Australian wheat cultivation area in hectares categorised by state. *Pending confirmation.

WHEAT HA 2021-22 2022-23  2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 941,000 980,000 900,000 800,000
NSW 3,608,000 3,600,000 3,300,000 3,300,000
Vic 1,445,000 1,500,000 1,540,000 1,540,000
SA 2,008,000 2,200,000 2,200,000 2,200,000
WA 4,718,000 4,750,000 4,650,000 4,650,000
Tas 9,300 15,000 12,000 12,000*
Total 12,729,300 13,045,000 12,602,000 12,610,000

Estimated barley production in Australia, reported in tons and organised by state. *Pending confirmation.

BARLEY TNS 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 617,000 403,000 310,000 280,000
NSW 3,562,000 2,278,000 1,680,000 1,745,000
Vic 2,271,000 2,896,000 2,250,000 2,953,000
SA 2,146,000 2,900,000 2,000,000 2,100,000
WA 5,758,000 5,600,000 4,200,000 4,000,000
Tas 24,000 60,500 50,000 50,000*
Total 14,378,000 14,137,500 10,490,000 11,128,000

Estimated barley cultivation area in Australia, specified in hectares and categorised by state. *Subject to confirmation.

BARLEY HA 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 207,000 136,000 150,000 150,000
NSW 1,159,000 780,000 800,000 800,000
Vic 870,000 820,000 830,000 830,000
SA 970,000 830,000 850,000 800,000
WA 1,884,000 1,550,000 1,600,000 1,600,000
Tas 4,300 11,000 7,000 7,000*
Total 5,094,300 4,127,000 4,237,000 4,187,000

Estimated canola production in Australia, reported in tons and segmented by state. *Subject to confirmation.

CANOLA TNS 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 4,700 10,000 4,000 4,000*
NSW 2,114,000 1,800,000 1,095,000 1,305,000
Vic 1,303,000 1,383,000 1,075,000 1,202,000
SA 435,000 770,000 475,000 510,000
WA 2,954,000 4,300,000 2,500,000 2,500,000
Tas 9,800 10,000 2,000 2,000*
Total 6,820,500 8,273,000 5,151,000 5,523,000

Estimated canola cultivation area in Australia, specified in hectares and segmented by state. *Subject to confirmation.

CANOLA HA 2021-22 2022-23  2023-24 Sep 2023-24 Dec
Qld 2,200 4,700 3,000 3,000*
NSW 941,000 900,000 840,000 840,000
Vic 569,000 600,000 550,000 550,000
SA 222,000 290,000 285,000 290,000
WA 1,513,000 2,100,000 1,800,000 1,800,000
Tas 3,600 5,000 3,000 3,000*
Total 3,250,800 3,899,700 3,481,000 3,486,000

Wrapping Up,

For detailed insights into wheat, barley, and canola harvest in 2023, contact us at KG2 Australia today!

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