PIRSA'S latest Crop and Pasture Report puts the state's 2020-21 grain crop at an impressive 9.2 million tonnes - the fourth-largest harvest on record and well above the 10-year average of 7.9mt..
The result is a 400,000t lift on the previous estimate made in November, and comes from a total of 4.013m hectares sown across SA, equating to an average yield of 2.28t/ha.
The crop is estimated to have a total farmgate value of $2.5 billion - well above the values of the past five harvests.
The 2016-17 harvest remains the state's largest ever at 11.145mt, followed by 2010-11 at 10.34mt, and 2001-02 at 9.39mt.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said many farmers were buoyed about growing a bumper crop after lower harvests in recent years due to drought.
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"It is a demonstration of resilience from our farmers to bounce back after a number of tough seasons," Mr Basham said.
"The 2020-21 harvest is estimated to be the biggest ever crop for several districts, breaking production and yield records, including in areas such as the southern and northern Murray Mallee, Lower South East and Kangaroo Island, while Lower Murray, Lower North and Upper North all had second-highest grain production on record."
Mr Basham said an increase in area grown for canola, some pulse crops and, to a lesser extent, wheat had been attributed to good soil moisture reserves and a late switch away from barley crops due to market restrictions.
"Some farmers also decided to crop additional paddocks originally intended for pasture, which increased the crop area to over 4mha for the first time since 2013-14," he said.
"A shining light of the 2020-21 harvest was growth in the pastoral zone, with significant rainfall in early August 2020 and late spring contributing to filling water stores and promoting significant feed regeneration, resulting in animals either being brought back from agistment or new stock being purchased for restocking."
The report indicated that while growth rates of pastures had increased with the wetter spring conditions, pasture production was less than normal.
While the report was released by the government this week, the information is listed as being current as of January 20.
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