Australian canola crop smallest in seven years

WINNIPEG, Sept. 13 – Australia is expecting its smallest canola crop since 2010, after the Australian Grains and Oilseeds Federation dropped its latest production estimate by 260,000 tonnes.

The federation now estimates the country’s canola production at 2.86 million tonnes, a nine per cent decline from earlier estimates.

Dry conditions and frost have hit crops in New South Wales, where soil moisture is almost non-existent, said the federation in its September crop report.

Severe frosts during the Australian winter, especially Aug. 20, also caused major crop losses in the state where canola production is now pegged at 621,000 tonnes, down from 890,000 predicted earlier.

The top canola-producing state Western Australia was hard hit by dry conditions at the start of the growing season and producers there are now expected to harvest about 1.3 million tonnes, compared to earlier estimates of 2.2 million tonnes.

The two remaining canola-producing states of Victoria and South Australia also showed slight production declines.

Better conditions are forecast for October, but will likely to come too late to improve yield prospects, the federation stated in the report.

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