Rain, hail or shine – grain industry still on track for lucrative crop

Late season rain, hail and wind has failed to put a dampener on the record South Australian 2021-22 grain crop with the latest State Government Crop and Pasture Report estimating a $3 billion farm gate value return.

The spring edition of the Crop and Pasture Report indicates 2021 South Australian grain production is estimated to be 7.72 million tonnes, almost identical to the 10-year average of 7.75 million tonnes.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said despite an average crop estimate, high global wheat and barley prices in particular, have resulted in an increase to the projected crop value.

“We are seeing some of the highest price returns in Australia for canola, both GM and non-GM, wheat and barley, right here in South Australia and this is just reward for the hard work farmers have put in this year,” said Minister Basham.

“Cool conditions and regular rain delays during October and November slowed early harvest progress but we are now in full swing and about halfway complete across the state.

“The report highlights that despite the mixed weather conditions this year with late opening rains followed by a wet mid-winter, a dry late winter and stormy wet October finish, indications are that crops have grown well mostly due to deep soil moisture stored from June and July rains.

“While winter frost and the spring storm events on 28 October and 6 November have caused some grain losses, the report has surprisingly found that rain associated with the storm systems increased the yield prospect of undamaged ripening crops.

“While the Bureau of Meteorology has now declared La Niña for summer 2021-22, it is unlikely to have significant influence on South Australia’s rainfall with the current seasonal outlook for December to February showing the most likely outcome is average rainfall for most of the state.

“Grain and hay reserves have now been replenished thanks to the spring hay cut and with harvest.”

Sown crop area and production for previous six seasons

To read the latest Crop and Pasture Report, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/cropreport.

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