- Wheat production is an important industry in Australia worth over $5 billion annually. Australia exports around 70% of its crop.
- Though yields are generally low compared to other wheat-producing areas, the Australian grain is often superior in quality and commands a high price on the international market.
- The most important constraint to wheat production in Australia, and at the same time a key reason for the superior quality, is water scarcity. However, towards the end of the growing season, the risk of severe drought is high and often coincides with high temperatures, further reducing yield and quality, both major threats to the industry.
- Average wheat yield losses due to heat stress in Australia has been estimated at 10-15%, representing a loss of $300M-400M per year.
- In the last decade, Australia has suffered multi-year droughts and, based on FAO statistics, yield in 2006 dropped by 46% below the average 1960-2010 yield levels.