GPSA survey shows SA crops off to early start

Grain Central, May 23, 2023

Planting for many SA growers has started and finished a little early this year, with this canola going in at Wirrabara in the Mid North an example. Photo: Russell Zwar

SOUTH Australian grain producers have opted to utilise their soil moisture to sow the crop early, according to a survey undertaken by Grain Producers SA.

More than half of the survey’s 119 respondents indicated they were sowing prior to the traditional Anzac Day start.

GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said rainfall from last season and rain in the first half of this year in some cropping regions had provided a positive start.

“In our seeding survey for 2022, half of the respondents were dry sowing and hoping for the rain break to get germination moving,” Mr Perry said.

“This year is much different, with 70 percent of the 119 grain producers responding to the survey stating
they are sowing into wet soil, with 20pc still seeding into dry soil.

“At the time of this month’s survey, 51pc of grain producers indicated they’d started sowing prior
to Anzac Day, 37pc started after that time, and 6pc still hadn’t started.”

Mr Perry said there were several factors driving confidence, or lack thereof, including the Bureau of
Meteorology’s drier outlook.

“As part of the survey, we asked grain producers how they were feeling about the season ahead by ranking their confidence out of 10; not surprisingly, the average over 119 responses was six out of 10.

“There’s a degree of optimism about the coming season but it’s tempered by caution.

“There’s been patchy rainfall to start the 2023 growing season so grain producers in many regions are
heavily relying on the moisture that is already in the ground.”

The survey showed most grain producers are sticking to the same crop mix as last season, and only a slight uptick in barley area is expected, despite hopes building in what was Australia’s biggest barley market.

“Despite the review of tariffs on Australian barley into China, more than 65pc of the respondents
said they won’t plant additional barley this season, while 14pc said they will plant more barley if
the tariff is removed; 6pc indicated they are planting more barley this season in anticipation.”

Of the wheat varieties newly released in 2022-23, 42pc of those surveyed are planting Calibre, while 6pc cent are putting in Matador, and 4pc are trying Brumby.

“When asked what they were planting differently this year to last year, 56pc of growers said there
was no change, while 21pc have added wheat and barley to their rotations, 13pc have added
oats and vetch, 12pc have included lentils and 11.5pc are growing hay.”

South Australia joined its neighbours in 2021-22 by being able to grow GM canola, and the GPSA indicates 8pc of survey respondents will be growing it for the first time this year, while 10pc of respondents planned a repeat plant in the current season.

However, 50pc of respondents said they were not interested in planting it, while 31pc would consider planting it in the future.

On GM and non-GM canola combined, 9pc of growers said they would be adding canola to their cropping mix in the current season.

Source: GPSA


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