While plantings of major crops such as wheat and barley are likely to come down from last year's record highs, ANZ is predicting renewed interest in a couple of formerly popular pulse crops.
ANZ's head of agribusiness Mark Bennett said the bank was forecasting two crops big in the 1990s to be back in vogue this year.
"The stand-out component this season looks to be the growth in crops such as lupins and field peas," Mr Bennett said.
Field peas and lupins are likely to see the biggest year on year increases in plantings, with ANZ forecasting a potential increase of 30 per cent up to almost 900,000 hectares.
However, Mr Bennett said while it was a big rise, the total planting would still only be around half of the acreage of those crops which were grown in the mid to late 1990s.
Pulse Australia chief executive Nick Goddard said the two crops could be more popular this season due to increased demand for protein from local stock feeders, however he said there would be other pulse crops popular as well.
"The situation for chickpeas is not particularly bright given world markets, especially in comparison to rival crops such as the cereals but farmers will look at faba beans and lentils where they can, especially where they are looking at getting a pulse back into the rotation for agronomic purposes," Mr Goddard said.
"The prices for other mainstream crops such as cereals and canola are also very strong so I would not envisage a massive swing into pulses, but the high price of input costs mean farmers are certainly aware of their rotational benefits."
"On the positive side there is strong demand from the stock feed sector for the cheaper pulse crops and growing interest from the plant protein manufacturing sector."
Mr Bennett said ANZ was forecasting a slight drop in overall plantings off the record levels of the past two seasons.
"For the 2022/23 winter crop, overall Australian cropping acreage is forecast to be down around by 600,000 hectares, or two percent." "The fall is mostly due to a forecast reduction in wheat acreage, which is tipped to decline by around 700,000 hectares, to 12.3 million hectares."
He said the high price of canola was likely to keep plantings up in spite of its higher cost of production and a lack of suitable paddocks for planting.
"Of the major crops, canola is forecast to rise by 100,000 hectares or three percent," Mr Bennett said.
Mr Bennett said the pulse story was one to monitor.
"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.
"The Australian pulse sector currently grows around half the acreage it did through the 1990s, with much of this land presumably having switched across to the larger crops of wheat, barley, and canola, due to factors including more predictable pricing and sale mechanisms."
However, he said there were positive factors for the sector into the future.
"The growing domestic and global consumer demand for plant-based proteins is likely to see the demand for these crops grow strongly."
"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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