Grain Producers Australia Limited (GPA) rejects ABARE's assertion that 2010 winter grain yields are not yet affected by the current wet weather. GPA is the peak producer advocate representing grain producers nationally.
The Australian Crop Report was released yesterday by ABARE. The report acknowledges that the winter crop has been downgraded in quality, but still forecasts record yields in eastern states.
GPA Chairman and NSW grain grower, Pete Mailler, says, "The ABARE forecast was out of date before it was released and seriously underestimates the damage to the Australian winter crop from recent wet weather, in both quality and quantity."
"ABARE does a great job in often difficult circumstances, but the reality is that the winter crop through Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and, to a lesser extent at this stage, South Australia, has now been decimated.", he said.
MrMailler said that large areas of crop are now likely to be abandoned and not harvested, while even larger areas have lodged severely which will result in significant harvest losses. Further to the unharvested portion of the crop, the weathering of the crop has a potentially devastating impact on the density of the grain further reducing yields by as much as forty percent.
"This loss of yield is now coupled with serious quality downgrades causing massive economic losses to this year's winter crop."
"We are suggesting potentially two billion dollars could have been wiped off the Australian grain crop at this stage. We are looking on anxiously as the next weather system moves through over the next couple of days, with forecasts of up to 100 mm of rain throughout the eastern grain belt. If the forecast wet weather eventuates, the real economic losses could increase significantly." Mr Mailler said.
"One of my neighbours described his harvest saying, "It is like a nightmare I can't wake up from" and I think that now sums up the season from central Queensland to Bass Strait."
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