NSW Wheat, Canola Acres Seen Lower In 2009

New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is expecting winter crop sowings to fall this season in the central and southern cropping areas.

Initial estimates released by the DPI suggest the area of wheat sown will drop by 7 per cent, while canola is expected to be down 17 per cent on last year.

The DPI say that up to 100 millimetres of rain is needed in the central west and southern areas of the state to boost soil moisture.

"The centre and the south over the past few years, certainly since 2002, have been hit a fair bit harder than the north of the state," said a DPI spokesman.

"Cropping ... in that environment has been relatively risky ... and finances are very short."