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Hot and dry conditions risk a major downgrading of crop forecasts

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As dry and hot conditions continue across the state, NSW grain growers are bracing themselves for significantly reduced winter crop sowings.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries have released an April grains report stating that the severe conditions are forcing down the crop forecast according to abc.net.au

 According DPI technical specialist, Peter Matthews, statewide rainfall is needed immediately in order to stabilise crops and avoid a further drop in forecasts.

"Current forecasts put the winter crop at 4.90 million hectares, comprising 4.10 million hectares of winter cereals and 0.8 million hectares of pulses and oilseeds,” he said.

Matthews expressed that many areas of the state had received well below average rainfall since last year’s harvest, with some farmers not receiving any quantifiable rainfall since spring 2012.

"If no rain is received in the next two to three weeks, there will be a major downgrading of crop forecasts, with many of the higher risk crops such as canola dropped in favour of lower risk cereal options.”

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