Monday, July 13, 2009

Crops are off to a better start in 2009

In order to better assess crop conditions and improve our production and balance sheet efforts in 2009, we have come up with an improved methodology to rank crop conditions nation wide. The ProFarmer Crop Condition Index (PCCI) can be used to assess which crops are likely to perform best at a state and national level.

In the ProFarmer weekly newsletter we will be reporting on crop conditions regularly throughout the season, and each crop month we will update the (PCCI). We now have 4-years historical data by state by major crop.

What do the results show?
At the state level, crop conditions have started better this year than in 2008. The improvement in conditions on the east coast are stronger than on the west coast, due to earlier and more planting rainfall.

WA had later rainfalls, which has lead to later crop planting/establishment, however good rains forecast in July should see the state play catch-up. In WA wheat is rated fewer than 50, placing the season’s conditions just under average.

SA wheat has had the best start, with current crop conditions ranked in the top third of the last 100 years. This is a significant turnaround from last season, where it was in the bottom half. Murray Bridge and Naracoorte in eastern SA are both currently ranked in the highest 10% of crops over the last 100 years. While this is an amazing improvement it needs to be noted that last season SA’s condition rating more than halved between July and November – if this occurred again it would place the crop condition in the bottom third.

VIC is currently ranked the lowest amongst the states, however there are areas of VIC which are currently ranked in the top 10% of crop years.

It is early in the season, and as spring approaches the weighted crop conditions will start to give a better idea of the production capacity of the season ahead.

Nationally, all crops this season have had a better start than in previous seasons. National planted area of canola is estimated to increase by 7% this year, and if crop condition continues to remain ahead of last season, total production could push the record.

Barley area has been estimated lower; however with a weighted condition 22% higher than last year production could also rise. Wheat is in a similar position, with a weighted crop condition ranking 20% higher than last year. With wheat acres thought to increase on last season, strong tonnages could again be seen. All crops have had a great start to the season.

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