South Australia’s 2017–18 final grain harvest estimate came in at 6.9 million tonnes, with an estimated farm gate value of $1.7 billion.
The State Government has published the final Crop and Pasture Report for the 2017–18 season, produced by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) now harvest is complete in all regions.
“Our primary industries form the backbone of the South Australian economy and our farmers have done a great job battling through what has been a difficult season this year,” said Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.
“The harvest estimate for the year is marginally more than the previous estimate of 6.8 million tonnes.
“We have revised the estimate marginally upwards to 6.9 million tonnes which is slightly below the long-term average of 7.7 million tonnes.
“While this crop is from a smaller sowing area of 3.6 million hectares due to the late arrival of opening rains – the smallest one since the early 2000s – the good harvest shows us how productive South Australia’s grain growers have become.
“The Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula performed better than expected, but the South East and Mallee missed the spring and finishing rains and together with the November frosts, yields were found to be less than predicted as harvest progressed.
“South Australia keeps ahead of the pack with its research and development work in the grains industry.
“We’re investing in our grains research capability thanks to a bilateral agreement between the State Government and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) to deliver high quality, locally relevant research in the major cropping regions of South Australia.
“Through the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) we have supported farmers to improve their productivity by providing expert advice in pest and disease control.
“Through the GDRC National Variety Trials program, we evaluate 10 field crops over 100 locations every year in field trial sites across the state, and that helps growers select the most adapted and profitable varieties for their locality.
“Beyond that, we conduct research aimed at helping growers best adopt new varieties into their system so they can get the most out of them and identify disease risks for growers and support them with strategies on rotations and fungicides.”
PIRSA Grains Account Manager Dave Lewis said weather conditions were variable in January and February.
“The soil surface is very dry in all districts and with a very dry summer, sub soil moisture is at very low levels,” he said.
“The area of canola next season is likely to increase in the Mid North, Yorke Peninsula, Mallee and Upper South East, but a smaller area is expected in the Lower South East and lower rainfall areas of the Upper North.
“Mice numbers are variable across the state, but in several districts such as parts of Eyre Peninsula and the Mid North, they are higher than normal. Farmers are commencing baiting to control numbers in these areas.”
About 85% of our grain is exported around the world, to locations including China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
View the Crop and Pasture Report at www.pir.sa.gov.au/cropreport