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Wheat farmers in Queensland and NSW still hoping for rain.



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The Hon. Tony Burke MP

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Wheat farmers in Queensland and NSW still hoping for rain

15 September 2009 DAFF09/319B

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke today welcomed the latest overall outlook for Australia’s crop production, but warned that wheat farmers in Queensland and NSW were still waiting for rain.

ABARE today released the Australian crop report, which forecasts an overall winter crop for 2009-10 of around 35.5 million tonnes - slightly up on June forecasts.

This includes a forecast wheat crop of 22.4 million tonnes, which would be around one million tonnes higher than last season’s harvest.

“Many growers really need to have a good crop this year to start the process of getting out of debt,” Mr Burke said.

“It’s too early to declare victory for this year’s crop, but we’re certainly seeing some promise in parts of the country.

“While the nationwide crop forecasts are positive, farmers in parts of Queensland and NSW have been affected by below-average winter rains.”

According to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the report shows an eight per cent increase in crop production, from an estimated two per cent increase in area planted.

This means production per hectare has risen, despite the continuing drought in many parts of Australia.