A recent report on SA’s grain crop showed that the State is up for an above average yield in 2014-15 despite the cold and frosty conditions in August.
According to the media release by Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell, the September Crop and Pasture Report from Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) found that the State should expect a total crop of around 7.6 million tonnes, which represents a farm gate value of about $1.8 billion, and an export value of $2.3 billion.
“This year’s crop production level remained well above the 10-year average of 6.5 million tonnes, but would be around one million tonnes less than the 2013-14 crop. Even though conditions during August were not ideal for everyone, the state’s crop was more advanced than usual for this time of the year,” Mr Bignell said.
“There was potential for a larger crop, but that depended on weather conditions and rain to finish the crops off during the next few weeks. We won’t know for sure what this year’s crop would be until the harvest begins later this month.”
PIRSA’s Grains Industry Account Manager Dave Lewis said the less than expected impact of the Beet Western Yellows virus to the canola crop had led to an increased crop estimate to 400,000 tonnes.
“Young canola crops lost to early season Beet Western Yellows virus infections have fortunately been limited to a small number of crops,” Mr Lewis said.
“Less damage than expected has occurred from infections of canola at later growth stages, although the spread of the virus has been found to be widespread through the crop. It’s spread to other susceptible crops including pulses has so far been limited.”
Mr Lewis said a combination of dry conditions and widespread severe frosts had caused significant crop damage across the State, but farmers were still assessing the full impact.
“Average minimum temperatures ranged from one to four degrees Celsius, with areas on the Upper Eyre Peninsula, Upper and Mid North and the Northern Mallee experiencing their lowest minimum August temperatures on record,” Mr Lewis said.
“The severe frosts have caused significant damage to the crops from Penong in the west to Pinnaroo in the east, with Northern Mallee farmers losing an estimated 30% to 40% of crops. However, earlier water logging in the southern cereal zone has eased with the dry conditions of August.”