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There’s some good news for farmers in a new report from the agricultural forecaster, with winter crop production in Australia is expected to increase by 76% in the 2020-21 financial year to 51.5 million tonnes.

After years of drought, that result would be “second only to the record high of 56.7 million tonnes in 2016-17”, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES). The outlook released today is an 7.4% upward revision from the forecast ABARES published in September.

Here are a few key stats from the latest Australian crop report:

– Wheat production forecast to increase by 106% to 31.2 million tonnes, the second highest on record.

– Production of barley – the product hit with hefty tariffs by China earlier this year – forecast to increase by

33% to 12 million tonnes, the second highest on record.

– Canola production forecast to rise by 59% to 3.7 million tonnes, the fifth highest on record.

– Chickpeas production is forecast to increase by 162% to 737,000 tonnes.

In a statement, the executive director of ABARES, Steve Hatfield-Dodds, said production in key cropping regions in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia was “boosted by favourable conditions during the critical grain development phase”.

“Crops in these states were generally in very good condition at the end of winter, and the favourable rainfall during September and October was perfectly timed for the growth cycle. Production is expected to be a record high in New South Wales, the second highest on record in Victoria and well above average in South Australia.”

However the report notes the outlook is not uniform across the country, with crop prospects in Western Australia and Queensland “less favourable than other states at the end of winter and yield prospects deteriorated in these states during early spring because of unfavourable seasonal conditions”.

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