Second highest grain crop in past five years predicted

Late rains to kick off the 2021-22 grain season and 70 per cent of the crop dry sown has culminated in an early estimate of 7.6 million tonnes, according to a State Government report released today.

The latest ‘Crop and Pasture Report’ estimates almost 4 million hectares of crop had been sown, similar to 2020-21 but production about 1.5 million tonnes down on last season.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham said the early crop estimate of 7.6 million tonnes is the second highest in the past five years.

“Traditionally farmers like to have rain around Anzac Day to get sowing underway but with the lack of soil moisture to start the season, many farmers dry sowed and hoped for rain which thankfully arrived in late June,” said Minister Basham

“There is no doubt farmers are going to need more rain to improve on the 7.6 million grain crop estimate and it is noted the current Bureau of Meteorology outlook for the August to October period shows increased probability of a wetter than normal winter and early Spring.

“It is pleasing to see almost 10 per cent of South Australia’s canola crop planted with Genetically Modified canola after the Marshall Liberal Government was successful in lifting a 16-year ban.

“The report states the dry start has resulted in a larger than expected area of barley sown in place of longer season crops such as pulses and canola, while the area for wheat is near average.

“The report further highlights the decline in export hay demand has contributed to the area sown for export hay being significantly reduced this season.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt markets, dry conditions and poorer harvests than expected in many northern hemisphere cropping areas have led to increased prices for most commodities, particularly for canola and some pulses.”

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

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