South Australia’s grain farmers have produced an estimated record-breaking 11.1 million tonne harvest for 2016-17, worth a projected $2.2 billion at the farm gate.
The Harvest edition of the Crop and Pasture Report, produced by Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), reveals the spring finish has resulted in even higher yields than anticipated in the last report, once harvesting of crops started.
SA’s previous record crop was recorded in 2010-11 at 10.3 million tonnes.
The March edition of the Crop and Pasture Report will reveal the final harvest numbers for the 2016-17 grain season.
The report is available at www.pir.sa.gov.au/cropreport and is released every two months. In 2015-16, grain farmers generated $4.4 billion in revenue with about 85 per cent of their grain exported to countries such as Indonesia, China and Vietnam. More than 12,000 people are employed in the grain industry.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell
It’s great to see we’re heading towards a State record grain harvest for 2016-17 - up more than half a million tonnes from our estimate in November.
We’re also expected to break new yield records for wheat, barley, lentils and hay and in some districts, yields have doubled the long term average.
Of course, that’s been against the extreme weather South Australia has experienced and the grain losses and equipment damage these storms.
High crop yields are also the result of the investments farmers are making in innovation, new and emerging technologies and the adoption of smarter farm management practices.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Grains Account Manager Dave Lewis
By the end of December, about 85 per cent of harvest was complete, however cool conditions, rainfall and heatwaves delayed part of it.
By the end of January most districts were wrapping up harvest and the deliveries to bulk handlers were starting to wind back.
Grain yields across most of the agricultural districts have been well above average, but there has been some downgrading of quality due to frost and hail damage in some areas. Most districts reported lower wheat protein due to the high yields diluting protein and rain during harvest.