DESPITE good opening rains in late April in the east and north of the state, patchy lighter falls across most of the Eyre Peninsula, and parts of the Yorke Peninsula and Lower North may result in a reduced area sown to crops, according to PIRSA’s latest 2017-18 seeding intentions report.
The report information was collated in early May, which highlighted soil profiles in most districts had moderate to good levels of subsoil moisture, particularly where summer weed control was successful.
But the state has not received significant rainfall since.
The report said farmers that received good April and May rains would have finished the majority of their seeding, but those that recorded lighter falls had either dry-sown some crops, such as canola, vetch or feed, or were waiting for better falls before sowing at all.
A positive to come out of the drier areas has been reduced herbicide use because of the lack of weed germination, while burning has also helped to reduce high stubble loads and better manage snails, which have been more prevalent due to the mild, wet summer.
The report says mice and snail baiting has also been widespread, with follow-up baiting planned once crops were sown.
Russian wheat aphid were also found on volunteer cereals and grasses during autumn, but so were high levels of predators, keeping aphid numbers at low levels.
The only crops estimated to increase in area sown were canola, lentils and chickpeas, mainly due to more positive prices.
- Full report pir.sa.gov.au