Crop outlook

Summer and winter cropping forecasts for Queensland’s wheat and sorghum cropping industries are produced by QAAFI’s experts in the complex integration of spatial production modelling and climate forecasting. These crop outlooks are available for free to view and download by growers.

Wheat outlook (winter)
Oz-Wheat regional wheat yield forecasts are developed by QAAFI from climate data and modelling, remote sensing and historical data showing likely yield outcomes. They cover Queensland and northern New South Wales. The Oz-Wheat model is run from 1 October the year before sowing in order to account for the influence of the summer fallow on starting soil moisture conditions.

With the winter cropping season nearing maturity and harvest, prospects continue to favour an above average winter season with a predicted state wheat yield of 2.29 t/ha. This is 20% above the long-term median yield expectation and falls within the top 10% of yield outcomes relative to all years. Specifically, SEQ, SWQ and CQ all have yield outcomes ranked in the top 25% of all years and yield departures of 17%, 26% and 19% above the long-term median, respectively. The range of yield predictions, at state level, has converged to a well above average winter crop season. All atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO, are indicating a high chance of La Niña like conditions further developing towards December. This suggests a high liklehood of a wet finish to the winter cropping season, which might increase the risk of diseases and harvesting problems, especially for late sown crops.

Sorghum outlook (summer)
QAAFI’s regional sorghum crop outlooks cover Queensland and northern New South Wales and are based on cropping after winter fallow, sorghum modelling, actual climate data, up to the forecasting date and projected climate data.

The sorghum crop across the Australian summer grain region for 2021/22 is predicted to be well above average. At a national level (NEAUS) the forecast yield now has converged to 3.47 t/ha, which is above the 90th percentile compared to all years. However, there remains large variation in the outlook among local regions. Specifically,
almost all areas of NNSW, SWQ and SEQ have predicted yields well above the long- term median expectation, while most areas in central QLD (CQ) have sorghum yield expectations below the long-term median for that region. Some areas in SEQ also had extensive flooding during early March, which could result in production losses. Note:
This yield outlook is based on an average of a maximum of three plantings, depending on timing and rainfall through the summer planting period. In addition, this is based on sowings after a crop-free (fallow) period during the winter season and therefore areas with longer fallow practices are likely to have better yield prospects.

Paddock watch

Paddock Watch allows producers to directly input crop locations on their properties each season, to be used inside an automated prediction framework. Computer simulation and satellite imagery is then used to map crop production estimates at a regional scale across the State. 

Learn more and register

Seasonal Harmonics

Seasonal Harmonics depicts the interplay between cropping seasons and different environments. This shows the total summer and winter crop area harvested as well as the production estimates for sorghum and wheat for the last 6 years across northeastern Australia. This was created by integrating daily weather, biophysical modelling and Earth Observations. Note: A downturn in crop area does not necessarily equate to a reduction in crop production (and vice versa). Period: 2014 to 2019.

Download North Eastern Australia Cropping Area Production Estimates from 2014 to 2019

About the researcher

QAAFI’s Dr Andries Potgeiter produces regular seasonal outlooks for sorghum and wheat producers in Queensland. Dr Potgieter (left) obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons, MSc) in Mathematical Statistics at the University of the Orange Free State in 1991 and completed his PhD in the use of remote-sensing technologies, discriminating between specific and total winter cropping areas across regions and seasons, at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia in 2009. Before coming to QAAFI in 2010, Dr Potgeiter worked for the Queensland Government for more than 11 years as a senior research scientist. His main research interest is in the complex integration of spatial production modelling, climate forecasting and remotely sensed systems at a regional scale. In particular, his interest targets agricultural research that enhances the protifability and sustainability of spatial production systems through a better understanding of the linkages and interactions of such systems across a range of spatial (e.g. field, farm, catchment and national), and temporal (i.e. seasons to decades) scales. 


National Wheat outlook, September 2019

National Wheat outlook, August 2019

National Wheat outlook, July 2019 
Qld Wheat outlook, July 2019

National Wheat outlook, June 2019


National Wheat outlook, November 2018

Queensland Wheat outlook, October 2018, 905 KB
National Wheat outlook, October 2018, 327 KB

Queensland Wheat outlook, September 2018, 917 KB 
National Wheat outlook, September 2018, 503 KB

Queensland Wheat outlook,August 2018, 898 KB 
National Wheat outlook, August 2018, 856 KB

Queensland Wheat outlook, July 2018, 828 KB
National Wheat outlook, July 2018, 1.6 MB

Queensland Wheat outlook, June 2018, 834 KB
National Wheat outlook., June 2018, 1.29 MB

Queensland Wheat outlook, May 2018, 817 KB
​National Wheat outlook, May 2018, 945 KB


National Sorghum outlook, April 2018, 2.92 MB

National Sorghum outlook, March 2018, 847 KB 

National Sorghum outlook, February 2018, 823 KB 

National Sorghum outlook, January 2018, 801 KB 


Sorghum Outlooks 

National Sorghum outlook
December 2017, 808 KB 

National Sorghum outlook
November 2017, 861 KB

Wheat Outlooks 

National wheat outlook 
October 2017, 347 KB

Queensland wheat outlook 
October 2017, 980 KB

National wheat outlook
September 2017, 134 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
September 2017, 485 KB

National wheat outlook
August 2017, 430 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
August 2017, 896 KB

National wheat outlook
July 2017, 246 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
July 2017, 884 KB

National wheat outlook
June 2017, 148 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
June 2017, PDF file, 872 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
May 2017, PDF file, 879 KB

Sorghum Outlooks 

Regional Sorghum outlook
March 2017, PDF file, 861 KB

Regional sorghum outlook
February 2017, PDF file, 521 KB

Regional sorghum outlook
January 2017, PDF file, 912 KB


Regional sorghum outlook
December 2016, PDF file, 787 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
October 2016, PDF file, 898 KB

National wheat outlook
October 2016, PDF file, 684 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
September 2016, PDF file, 892 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
August 2016, PDF file, 887 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
July 2016, PDF file, 882 KB

Queensland wheat outlook
June 2016, PDF file, 888 KB

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