Harvest report tips ‘above average’ year

South Australia is on track for a slightly above-average harvest of 7.63 million tonnes, expected to inject an estimated $1.6 billion into the state’s economy.
This figure is higher than the 10-year average farm-gate value of $1.5 billion, according to Primary Industries and Regions SA’s latest Crop Report.
Agriculture Minister, Gail Gago, said the report shows a crop area of 4.13 million hectares – the largest on record – on the back of the 2010-11 bumper harvest of 10.34 million tonnes.
“An above-average crop is welcome news for our state and farmers,” Ms Gago said.
“The relatively good finish to the season is despite below-average rainfall across most parts of the state in September following a dry winter.
“Much-needed rain throughout October was timely and crucial for grain growers, as growing season rainfall from April to October was well below average for most regions.”
The 2011-12 crop is predicted to be the state’s fourth largest in recent times.
South Australia’s second biggest harvest was 9.36 million tonnes in 2001-02, while the third largest was in 2009-10 at 7.83 million tonnes.
Harvesting is under way across most parts of the state,starting with very early sown barley crops near Port Germein at the end of September. Peas, barley and canola followed in other districts last month.
There is a record area of canola sown this year as a result of high prices, with plantings up by 20 percent on the previous high in 1999.
The area and production of wheat plantings is down on last year, however remains above average. The barley crop area is up this year and production is also above average, while lentils look promising.
PIRSA’s latest Crop and Pasture Report is available online at www.pir.sa.gov.au/grains/cpr