THE NATIONAL crop forecaster the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is predicting a massive spike in winter crop plantings in NSW will spearhead Australia's winter crop to a whopping 53 per cent year on year increase.
ABARES came out last week with total winter crop production estimates for 2020-21 of 44.5 million tonnes.
This is a massive step up from last year's drought influenced crop of 29.1m tonnes.
Should the estimate prove accurate it would mean a crop 11pc above the 10-year average.
Wheat, Australia's major crop, is expected to weigh in with a 26.7m tonne crop, which would make it the fourth largest Aussie crop on record.
ABARES acting executive director Peter Gooday said the promising forecast was made on the back of a marked lift in hectares planted and favourable seasonal conditions.
Mr Gooday said the forecaster was predicting a 23pc lift in planted area this year with 22.5m hectares going in.
He also said there had been a very favourable autumn for winter crop production, especially in the eastern states and South Australia.
Since the outlook was issued parts of Western Australia have received useful rainfall over the weekend, in particular through the Esperance port zone, which had been struggling with dry conditions. Rain is also just starting to fall over the Darling Downs region another area that had not had good opening rains in the autumn.
Mr Gooday said he expected yields in southern and eastern areas to be good.
"Yield prospects in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are forecast to be above average given favourable levels of soil moisture at the beginning of June and the likelihood of above average rainfall in July."
The largest increase in planted area is expected in NSW with wheat plantings set to nearly double and canola to more than double on the back of more favourable seasonal conditions.
The state's cropping sector received a further shot in the arm over the weekend with widespread falls in excess of 15mm in many parts of its cropping heartland, including falls over 30mm in the Central West around Parkes and Forbes and further to the north in areas around Coonabarabran and Gunnedah.
Looking forward through winter, ABARES is factoring in good to average rainfall for most areas.
Mr Gooday said the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) three-month seasonal outlook (June to August) indicates winter rainfall is likely to be above average in most cropping regions in Queensland and New South Wales and around average in most other cropping regions.