AUSTRALIA- South Australia’s 2022-23 grain harvest of 12.788 million tonnes is 51% higher than last year and more than 70% above the five-year average, according to the Crop and Pasture Report from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions.
The year was complicated by weather challenges that included heavy rains and flooding, delaying seeding at the start and slowing down the harvest.
Additionally, the report provides that most districts reported issues with leaf disease, including stripe rust in wheat and powdery mildew in cereals.
However, despite these challenges, the region had impressive results, with the 12.788 MT harvest breaking a record set in 2016-17 at 11.1 MT.
“The record production at high global prices, even with some weather damage downgrading, has an estimated farm gate value of A$4.6 billion, also well above the 2021-22 record high farm gate value (A$3.3 billion),” the report noted.
Primary Industries Minister Clare Scriven remarked that this estimated harvest was great for farmers and the whole state.
“There’s the direct economic boost of course, but then what that means for our regional areas we know that when we have got good seasonal conditions, we’ve got an excellent harvest then there will be more money spent locally,” Ms. Scriven said.
Individual crops performed well in the year, with some crops registering more than double their previous yields.
For example, wheat production has been rising and is estimated at 7.33 MT, more than double the amount grown in 2018/19 and 2019/20.
The estimate is 3.08 MT for barley, 684,000 tonnes for canola, and 230,950 for oats.
South Australian farmers sowed 3.942 million hectares of grain in 2022-23, the same as the previous year, though slightly less than the 4 million hectares in 2020-21. The average yield was 3.25 tonnes/hectare.
Canola tonnages delivered this harvest were about 84% more than the five-year average. This increased sowing was informed by the high global prices for canola and led to a reduced acreage of barley.