| ||Wheat Production Outlook for 2002-03|| ||
Further to the outlook announcement on 12 June 2002, AWB estimates that winter crop planting for the 2002-03 season is complete. Wheat planting is estimated to be down on last year's 12.5 million hectare crop, with prolonged dry conditions effecting crop planting in Queensland, New South Wales, and to a lesser extent Western Australia. Acreage in both Victoria and South Australia has been largely unaffected.
The combination of a late-planted crop, generally low soil moisture, and winter conditions has seen slow development in crops to date. The below average rainfall felt through winter to date, will mean that harvest prospects will be largely determined on spring conditions, which over the past 2 years has been generally favorable to farmers.
Earlier this month NOAA(1) forecasters stated that weather conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, including consecutive months of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures and abnormally heavy rainfall in areas of South America, met their threshold to be classified as an El Nino. NOAA’s climate experts predict mature El Nino conditions to develop in a few months.
Given the above scenarios, expectations are for below average harvest yields this year, and that a reasonable production estimate, at this point in time, is for 18 to 20 million tonnes of wheat.
(1) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operate the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world.
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