Further harvest hold-ups expected

Further harvest hold-ups expected


Harvest was once again halted for most graingrowers across the state this week as rain continued to fall.


Harvest was once again halted for most graingrowers across the state this week as rain continued to fall. 

The potential for sprouted grain has also arisen in recent days after some regions received up to 30 millimetres of rain in the past fortnight, while the Upper and Lower North districts are also counting the cost of hail damage. 

Northern Ag’s Dustin Berryman, Booleroo Centre, said a report from crop assessors after the hailstorm on Wednesday last week revealed there was 40 per cent to complete yield loss on canola crops and up to 10pc on wheat. 

“Harvest has been on-again, off-again and we expect to see grain quality issues show up at the end of this week because of the rain,” he said. 

"Any wheat that has not been reaped is certainly a concern because most growers have not been in the header for 10 days.” 

Salter Springs independent agronomist Craig Davis said wind and hail had caused damage to standing and windrowed canola, with further delays to harvest also expected because of lodged barley and bean crops. 

“There is a lot of wheat to reap so there will be some significant downgrades such as sprouting, and malt barley will be an issue going forward too becasue it will drop down to feed grade,” he said. 

Paddocks across the Yorke Peninsula have remained untouched for the past eight days and AW Vater & Co agronomist Zack Zweck, Kadina, said frustration among growers was high. 

“It could be up to 10 days without hitting a paddock and the weather has even more of an impact out here because the cool weather and seabreeze has kept moisture levels at 14pc to 16pc, even higher with the rain this week,” he said.

“Sprouted grain is a reasonable concern now throughout the Maitland region where they have had a lot more rain  – most crops are going through the falling number tests at the silos.

“Growers are itching to get back on-track.”

Eyre Peninsula growers will return to the paddocks today, EP agronomist Tristan Baldock said, but a large percentage were only about a third of the way through harvest.

“A number of growers still have 1500 hectares to 2000ha to go and most of that is wheat, so sprouted grain became a real reality this week,” he said.

“The rain will cause losses and growers are looking at a minimum of a $50 a tonne hit on prices.”

But it was not just SA’s croppers impacted by the hailstorm last week, with Adelaide Hills apple and cherry growers were also dealt a devastating blow to next year’s crops.

Apple and Pear Growers Association of SA executive officer Susie Green said industry would undertake assessments to determine the extent of the hail damage and potential yield losses.

“Initial feedback is almost all growers have been affected for a second year in a row,” she said. 

                         – VANESSA BINKS


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