Grain harvest tipped to be fourth biggest on record

PLEASED: Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham reveals good outcomes in Spring Crop Performance report 2020-21. Photo: Michael Simmons
PLEASED: Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham reveals good outcomes in Spring Crop Performance report 2020-21. Photo: Michael Simmons

Drenching spring rains have contributed to an estimated 8.8 million tonne grain harvest - the fourth biggest on record in the SA, the state government has confirmed.

Following years of drought, the SA government's Spring Crop Performance report 2020-21 this month also reveals the four million hectares sown in the state is the largest since 2013-14.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said it is pleasing to see grain growers in many districts finally reaping the rewards after many tough years.

"This year's grain harvest offers hope to our farmers following years of drought with the latest Crop and Pasture Report estimating 8.8 million tonnes valued at $2.4 billion at the farm gate," Minister Basham said.

The report shows that the production estimate is well above the 10-year average of 7.9 million tonnes.

Farmers began as early mid-September cutting hay and those with small areas were able to get it baled with minimal weather damage.

However, Minister Basham highlighted how a number of hay producers had suffered significant weather damage.

"Many of our state's primary producers have been and are still doing it tough but it is positive to see such a large harvest in South Australia," he said.

This year's grain harvest offers hope to our farmers following years of drought with the latest Crop and Pasture Report estimating 8.8 million tonnes valued at $2.4 billion at the farm gate.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham

"Now we have a La Nia in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, which means increased probability of more rainfall for our state."

The report further found that crops in all regions, except Lower Eyre Peninsula, harvest is tipped to improve from 2019-20 and for most of the Murray-Mallee is expected to have a bigger harvest than 2016-17's bumper crop.

"Our grain industry generated $3.8 billion in revenue in 2018-19 and is an important export industry for the state, with our grain sent to many overseas markets including India, Indonesia and Bangladesh," Minister Basham added.

Mr Bashman said in a year of unprecedented challenges, "many farmers" also switched from barley crops late to wheat and other crops as they responded to China's tariff announcements for Australian barley imports.

The report comes on top of local grain growers now having access to GM technology in time for the 2021 growing season after the SA Government recently lifted the GM moratorium.

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

This story Grain report offers hope to state farmers first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.