DESPITE relatively dry conditions in many SA regions and promising forecasts of substantial rain fizzling, graingrowers are feeling optimistic about the upcoming season.
According to a member survey undertaken by Grain Producers SA, 90 per cent were predicting an average to above average season.
GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said optimism had been tempered by rising costs of chemicals, diesel and fertiliser.
Feedback from 73 growers across the state also gave an interesting insight into modern sowing tendencies.
"Traditionally, Anzac Day marks the start of seeding, but an increasing number of producers are sowing earlier to spread risk and allow for timely completion of seeding programs, regardless of the rain forecast," Mr Perry said.
The survey showed 49pc of growers had begun dry sowing, 22pc were sowing into moisture and 29pc were waiting for rain.
"Areas on the Eyre Peninsula that received soaking rainfall events earlier this year are sowing into moist soil for the first time in several seasons and reporting this as one of the bests starts they've seen in a while," he said. "Statewide reports indicate highly variable subsoil moisture levels, but as always at this time of year, more rain is required to encourage germination."
Mr Perry said there was a mix of dry sowing, sowing into moisture and playing the waiting game in the Mallee and Riverland, while most in the Mid and Lower North were dry sowing.
In the South East, growers are either sowing into low subsoil moisture or waiting for rain, while parts of the Yorke Peninsula and EP were sowing into ideal soil conditions.
At Waterloo in the Mid North, Daniel Schoenberg said they had only received one decent summer rain and had not had a substantial opening rain.
"I've got the feeling that there might be a later break, but something will eventually come through," he said.
"We have had wheat in the ground for six weeks in the past, before it came up."
The Schoenbergs run sheep and crop at Waterloo and run sheep in the Mallee.
They started seeding about a fortnight ago by putting in barley for sheep feed and to date have planted 50 hectares of beans, 30ha of barley and 90ha of wheat.
"We generally start seeding at this time of the year and will do a few stops and starts, depending on the forecast," Mr Schoenberg said.
While he was generally optimistic about the upcoming season, input costs were a concern and had already had an impact.
"We've actually dropped some lease country due to increasing input costs," he said.
"We were just wary of trying to stretch ourselves too thin and wanted to avoid that extra risk."
Bureau of Meterology meteorologist Thomas Boeck said the present cold front could result in an autumn break for the Lower South East, but was unlikely to bring large rainfall totals elsewhere.
He said the Bureau was predicting 5-15mm for the Upper South East until the end of Saturday, with 5-15mm possible on coastal areas of the St Vincent and Spencer Gulfs, and the Mid North. They predicted 1-5mm in the Riverland, Murraylands and EP, while falls of 15-30mm were likely in the Mount Lofty Ranges and Lower South East.
Mr Boeck said BOM's longer range outlook was forecasting a dry period from May 7 to 13, while above average rainfall was expected for May 14 to 21 and for the entire winter period.
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