Current outlook

PIRSA’s recent ‘Crop and Pasture Report’ identifies the following drought affected areas within South Australia:

  • eastern and western Eyre Peninsula
  • upper North
  • northern Yorke Peninsula
  • Murray Mallee
  • Eastern Mid-North (Eudunda to Worlds End)
  • North-east Pastoral

Current data identifies more than 4000 farming properties as affected by drought. View map of drought-affected regions (JPG 802.3 KB)

Widespread frosts damaged grain crops at their most vulnerable flowering to early grain fill stage. Around 10 per cent of the state’s grain crop was cut for hay as a result of the frost damage.

Consequently, as at start of November,  South Australia’s 2018–19 grain harvest is an estimated 4.9 million tonnes with harvest now underway.  Despite the below average harvest, the farmgate value of the state’s crop is estimated to hold up at $1.7 billion on the back of higher grain and fodder prices this season.

The 4.9 million tonne estimate grown from 3.5 million hectares is well below the long-term South Australian average of 7.9 million tonnes.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), despite patchy rainfall during October and November, to date, very dry conditions persist across eastern districts of South Australia. Daytime temperatures have also been above average for the first two months of Spring.  The seasonal outlook suggests below average rainfall and warmer than average temperatures are likely to persist from November to January 2019.

PIRSA is monitoring the season closely with industry, Department for Environment and Water, and climate updates from the Bureau of Meteorology – and will update this web page regularly.

Support is available to those individuals, families and communities who are drought affected. More details are available at:

To talk to someone about what assistance is available please call the drought hotline on 1800 255 556 or contact our Family and Business Support mentors, who can come and speak to you in person.

The Adverse Events Framework

In South Australia, PIRSA’s ‘Adverse Events Recovery Framework for Primary Production’ outlines the government’s approach to determining what support may or may not be required in response to adverse events.

The Framework aligns to the principles of the Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform (IGA) agreed by the Commonwealth, states and territory governments in 2013.

The framework identifies the indicators that are monitored to determine whether the seasonal and associated impacts trigger drought response phases. View more detail about the Framework.

Under the terms of the IGA, state and territory governments no longer issue formal drought declarations. Under the IGA, relevant assistance programs for farmers experiencing drought or hardship are based on individual circumstances.

Dry Conditions Working Group Communique

Page Last Reviewed: 12 Dec 2018
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