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Viterra survey indicates SA wheat, lentil plantings up

Grain Central, September 13, 2021

A crop of barley in South Australia’s Mid North. Photo: Ground Up Agronomy

RESULTS from Viterra’s annual survey of South Australian growers indicates an increased area for wheat and lentil plantings, but a drop in barley area.

Released late last month, the results from growers intending to deliver to South Australia’s biggest bulk handler by far show that barley plantings are likely to drop by 5 per cent from last year’s total.

The survey indicated the main barley varieties sown this year are Spartacus and Compass, which combined account for 75pc of the barley crop, and that plantings of the Scope variety have decreased.

Nipper-type lentils have also increased as a result of more plantings of Highland variety.

Viterra’s survey results are roughly in line with estimates from the ABARES Australian Crop Report September edition released last week.

These put SA’s lentil area at 330,000 hectares as being up 10pc on last year’s planting, barley area at 850,000ha being down 10,000ha from last year, and  wheat at 2.1 million hectares being unchanged.

Deliveries of grain harvested last season continue into the Viterra system, with more than 3000 tonnes of mostly lentils received in the month to September 5.

Region Aug 2-Sep 5 intake Total 2020-21 intake to Sep 5
Western 124 1,765,915
Central 0 2,563,549
Eastern 3081 1,600,360
Total tonnes 3204 5,929,824

Table 1: Receivals at Viterra sits in the month to September 5 2021, and the year from October 1 2020 to September 5 2021.

Meanwhile, sites across the Viterra network are getting ready for the 2021-22 harvest as terminals continue to ship grain.

Viterra chief operations officer James Murray said Viterra was well-positioned for the harvest, which is looking positive for growers and South Australia.

“We have been facilitating a very strong season of shipping on behalf of several exporters, which is beneficial for growers as we are able to connect them to a number of markets around the world,” Mr Murray said.

“We’ve outturned 5.5 million tonnes of grain, so we also have very low carry-over stock.

“This, combined with around 10Mt of storage, means that we have the capacity required to receive what growers deliver into us.

“We are working directly with our growers and grower committees as we approach harvest to ensure sites are equipped to meet their needs.”

Other preparations include Viterra recruiting for 1500 seasonal workers to help deliver the harvest at 55 sites across South Australia and western Victoria as the business prepares to release its new digital delivery advice.

Source: Viterra, ABARES

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