News

South Australia's crop estimate revised upwards

Wednesday 18 October 2017

South Australia's 2017-18 estimated grain harvest has been revised upwards to 6.7 million tonnes, from an earlier prediction of 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated farm gate value of $1.7 billion.


South Australia's 2017-18 estimated grain harvest has been revised upwards to 6.7 million tonnes, from an earlier prediction of 6.4 million tonnes, with an estimated farm gate value of $1.7 billion.

The latest Crop and Pasture Report, produced by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), reveals conditions have improved thanks to more rainfall in July and August.

The estimate comes off the back of a record-breaking harvest in 2016-17, which produced 11.1 million tonnes worth around $2.2 billion at the farm gate.

Background

The grains industry is one of the largest export industries in South Australia and a significant contributor to the state's food and agricultural exports, generating $4.6 billion in 2015-16.

South Australia has about 4,000 grain producing farm businesses - including mixed enterprises producing livestock and grain.

Around 12,000 people are employed directly or indirectly in the grain sector.

The long-term (10-year) average grain harvest in South Australia is 7.7 million tonnes.

The latest Crop and Pasture Report is available to view at www.pir.sa.gov.au/cropreport.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Leon Bignell

One in five working South Australians is employed in the agribusiness sector and it is the engine room of our economy.

After eight seasons in a row of above average crop harvests, South Australia's farmers have seen a slower than normal start to the because of dry conditions in autumn and a dry and frosty June.

The season has since seen considerable improvement with wetter conditions in July and particularly August, with many parts of the cereal-producing districts receiving average to above average rains.

Rain in early July enabled farmers to complete seeding, particularly on Lower Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Unfortunately the July rains were too late for farmers on the Western Eyre Peninsula, so while extra paddocks were sown, not all the original intended crop area was completed.

While across the state crop stage of growth is highly variable, they are generally growing well and have average yield potential in most districts - we're now hoping for a good spring finish.

Although our farmers are at the mercy of weather conditions, they are also innovative in their approach to cropping and pasture management to get the most out of each season.

In a season like this, an estimate of 6.7 million tonnes for a small crop area of 3.55 million hectares is far more than we would have expected 20 years ago and reaffirms South Australian farmers' hard work and know-how.

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Media Contacts

Celia Brissenden - Communications Manager, Regional Development, Fisheries & Aquaculture and Forestry
Email: celia.brissenden@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0477 359 248

Agriculture, Food & Wine, Biosecurity and SARDI
Email: pirsa.media@sa.gov.au
Phone: 0455 091 908


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