Crops tipped to reach 7.95mt, thanks to May rain

Crops tipped to reach 7.95mt, thanks to May rain

Cropping
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SA'S CROP production is expected to exceed the past two years, with estimates for the 2019-20 season reaching 7.95 million tonnes - the highest since 2016-17.

SA'S CROP production is expected to exceed the past two years, with estimates for the 2019-20 season reaching 7.95 million tonnes - the highest since 2016-17.

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The state government's July edition of the Crop and Pasture Report further estimates a crop area of 3.81 million hectares, a return to near average.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone said the early season grain estimates were promising but further rainfall was required.

"Given the rainfall our grain growing regions have received in the past two months and the lack of subsoil moisture in many districts, there is cause for optimism but also caution," he said.

"Our farmers need good rains across most districts to support their crop and pasture growth for the remainder of the growing season, with the conditions over the next month pivotal."

Mr Whetstone said rain across the state during May varied from average to above average in most areas, to well above average on the lower Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

He said this break in the season resulted in good establishment of crops across many districts.

"However, below average rainfall was received in a part of last year's drought affected Eastern Eyre Peninsula, parts of the Mallee and across most of the west of the state during July," he said.

"The report states most farmers fed hay and grain to livestock to give pastures a chance to grow before grazing early in winter and pastures are now sufficiently advanced to permit grazing, reducing the need for hand feeding in many districts."

Mr Whetstone said conditions were still very dry in the northern pastoral zone, where low amounts of quality forage were available.

He said the estimated increase of 2.35mt on last year's results was promising.

"Last year's grain season resulted in 5.6mt due to drought so it is encouraging this report estimates a significant increase to 7.95mt for 2019-20 but we need good finishing rains in spring," he said.

According to the report, well-timed opening rains in May helped farmers start their cropping program, completing seeding by early June.

  • Details: pir.sa.gov.au/cropreport
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