Grain prices look good
PIRSA’s Grains Industry Development Manager, Dave Lewis, said the report anticipates a crop estimate of about 6.71 million tonnes for the coming harvest.
Mr Lewis said the combination of an improved price outlook, but with a near average crop estimate, will result in similar returns to last year for grain farmers.
“The improved price outlook is the result of weather issues with some northern hemisphere crops impacting global supply,” he said.
“September’s wild weather so far has brought with it a highly variable outlook for South Australia’s croppers, with the rainfall associated with the latest system only sufficient to maintain crop potential in many areas,” he said.
“It is a mixed bag across the State with most districts receiving around average or above average rainfall for the winter, but some districts have received well below average rainfall.
“The reports we’ve received indicate that crops have average yield potential, except those in the areas with below average rainfall, or in the higher rainfall zones where water logging has set crops back.
“The stored soil moisture from the above average March rainfall we received across the northern Eyre Peninsula, and Northern Murray Mallee has been a big factor; however the crop condition could deteriorate very quickly if good rain is not received very soon or there are more hot windy days.
“Early sown crops where moisture has been conserved from summer rains have average to above average potential.
“Leaf diseases, including stripe rust in wheat and both forms of net blotch in barley, are at relatively low levels across the State. This is largely as a result of below average rainfall during July and August, and proactive fungicide application by farmers.”
Early sown canola crops are in full flower and have good yield potential, however later sown crops and re-sown crops have not developed as well and are relatively thin, the report says.
The grains sector is a vital driver behind growing South Australia’s food industry to $20 billion by 2020, and as part of the State Government’s Premium Food and Wine From Our Clean Environment initiative.