South Australia s first grain crop estimate for the new season has come in at an above-average 7.9 million tonnes, according to the latest Crop and Pasture Report released today by Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA). Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell said early sowing, combined with mild conditions during May and early June, had seen crops growing rapidly in most areas of the State.
The estimate this year is for 7.9 million tonnes, with an estimated farm gate value of around $1.5 billion, and an export value of $2.1 billion, he said. While the crop production estimate is well above average, global prices particularly for wheat have eased compared to last year, potentially reducing returns to growers and the value of grain exports should the current low prices continue into the harvest. Due to the good rainfall in May and June there are high levels of stored soil moisture that will carry through spring should it be drier than normal, so there is a lot of optimism about this season s crop.
Minister Bignell said grain production is one of South Australia s most important industries. Our grain industry generates up to $4.3 billion in annual revenue from commodity and processed products, he said. It s sustainable, irrigation-free and GM-free, and uses minimal fertilisers and chemicals. If all goes well during the next few months, this season s crop will be the sixth above-average crop in a row, based on the 10-year average. Collectively, the last five crops (since 2009-10) have produced 41.3 million tonnes of grain with an export value of around $12.5 billion for South Australia. This season s crop looks like adding to this impressive record.