DESPITE forecasts for Australia's 2022/23 planted hectares to be down from record highs last year, the contrast in growth rates between different varieties will be stark, according to ANZ's latest agri commodity report.
The stand-out component this season looks to be the growth in crops such as lupins and field peas.
After two years of record crops in Australia, there are several factors which should see overall acreage and production levels fall back toward average this season.
ANZ head of agribusiness Mark Bennett said for the 2022/23 winter crop, overall Australian plantings were forecasted to be down around 600,000 hectares, or two per cent.
"The fall is mostly due to a forecast reduction in wheat hectares, which is tipped to decline by around 700,000ha, to 12.3 million ha," Mr Bennett said.
"In contrast, some crops are forecast to see a reasonable climb in acreage in the 2022/23 season.
"Of the major crops, canola is forecast to rise by 100,000ha or three 3pc."
The largest percentage rises are forecast to be in field peas and lupins, which could increase by 30pc to almost 900,000ha.
While this is a reasonable rise on the previous year, it is still only around half of the hectares of those crops which were grown in the mid to late 1990s.
The trend for the major pulse crops - field peas, lupins, and chickpeas - will be an interesting one for industry stakeholders to watch in coming years.
Traditionally, the major export market for pulses has been India, although this can be volatile, depending on the state of India's annual domestic crop and any tariffs which are added or cut as a result.
Mr Bennett said the Australian pulse sector currently produced about half the hectares it did through the 1990s.
"Much of this land presumably has switched across to the larger crops of wheat, barley, and canola, due to factors including more predictable pricing and sale mechanisms, as well as the ongoing consolidation of smaller farms into larger holdings," he said.
Looking ahead, some factors would point to the potential for growth in the pulse sector in Australia.
"The growing domestic and global consumer demand for plant-based proteins is likely to see the demand for these crops grow strongly," Mr Bennett said.
"In addition, new investors in the market, as well as existing producers seeking to diversify their crops, may look away from just planting the major grains and oilseeds."
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