Grain Central stories that led the news in 2020

Grain Central, January 12, 2021

GRAIN growers across Australia will look back on 2020 as a year when, after enduring long-running drought, the season finally turned around, setting the nation up to produce its second largest grain crop on record.

The national grain crop in 2020 surpassed 50 million tonnes (Mt), with wheat production alone jumping by more than 100 per cent on the previous year to around 30Mt.

But growers will also remember 2020 as a year when events beyond the farm gate had a profound impact on their lives.

The big news of 2020 was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic early in the year which continues to dominate world headlines. Fortunately, the impact on Australian agriculture has not been as dramatic as it has in many other industries.  Despite some restrictions, farmers have continued to produce the crops and other farm products that have been crucial to assuring food security in these testing times.

In May, barley growers bore the brunt of rising tensions between China and Australia when China slapped an 80.5 per cent tariff on Australian barley imports, virtually closing the market overnight and forcing growers and marketers to seek alternative destinations. The impasse shows no signs of abating soon, with Australia announcing it will take China to the World Trade Organisation to challenge its imposition of the tariff.

In a snapshot of the ‘year that was’ in the Australian grain industry, Grain Central takes a look back over the stories that led the news in 2020.

(Click on story titles to open)


Hail destroys 63 CSIRO glass houses, sets back vital crop research

Eastern rains prompt fodder action but far from drought-breaking

Saudi books 900,000t barley in first 2020 tender

Extreme heat bookends Australia’s warmest and driest year on record


UK farmers set sights on 10t/ha wheat yields

Traditional beef and plant-based meat can co-exist: Burger King’s Jack Cowin

What can be done to increase the adoption of precision technologies?

Herbicide breakthrough to offer new tool for combating weed resistance

Fall armyworm detected in Torres Strait

Indonesia-Australia pact a win for farmers, grain growers


GRDC announces formation of Grains Australia Ltd

COVID-19: Tricky for truckies but working for road, rail, sea

COVID-19: Ag as essential service to operate across lockdowns

GrainGrowers calls out alarmist glyphosate map study


Rain triggers timely southern sowing spree

Early rain lifts WA winter crop prospects

COVID-19: Contactless deliveries put National Grower Register on front foot

COVID-19: Nation beholden to agriculture in testing times


China puts 80pc tariff on Australian barley

Barley industry at a glance – China targets Australia’s second-biggest grain crop

Australian ag has weathered COVID-19 storm

Russia launches world’s largest self-drive machinery project


Harvest of drought-reduced corn area all but over

GrainCorp seeks biggest harvest workforce since 2016

Bayer stumps up billions to settle glyphosate litigation claims

Seasonal turnaround drives surge in winter crop production


Dismal sorghum harvest draws to a late close

Farmers need to ditch ‘old hat’ image to attract best and brightest

Producers warned to be mindful of farm machinery scam

COVID-19: Changes to rural events

Electric tractors and machinery – the time has arrived

Ord cotton gin proposal gains momentum


Flexible wheat classification system needed to meet changing needs

COVID-19: Restrictions to ease on NSW-Vic, Vic-SA borders

NFF backs zero emissions by 2050

Pulse Update: Markets ease as big crop consolidates

COVID-19: Border closures play havoc with ag consultancy businesses

Rains across WA grainbelt prove game-changer for winter crops

Ammonium nitrate stockpile spawns massive Beirut port explosion


Australian barley likely in Saudi tender, values firmer

Hail, lodging hit promising winter crops in southern NSW

Ag land prices at record highs but low growth ahead

Farm deaths and injuries continue to take heavy toll

China suspends barley imports from CBH Group


Researchers investigate virus outbreak in faba beans

Demand-driven wheat rally supported by production uncertainty

T-Ports set to expand with Wallaroo development

Autonomous ag machinery code-of-practice takes shape

Can Australia’s emerging quinoa industry maintain its price premium?

First-stage quad bike safety measures now mandatory

Nah, yeah, nah, yeah – how farmers talk about the weather


Heatwave set to strike NSW, Qld summer crops

GrainCorp sets new daily receival record of 362,000t

We won Saudi Arabia with barley but who is winning China?

2020 State-of-the-Climate report released

Overnight fire at Manildra flour mills contained

SA rejects GM-free council applications, opens way for GM crops


Single Kembla line to reopen after grain train derailment

WA on track for 16.5Mt winter crop

Rain helps cotton yield outlook, prompts late planting

Australia on track for second largest grain crop

Fall armyworm experts answer the questions

Tractor sales set to top 13,000 for year

Wet La Nina summer still on cards despite heatwave

Australia to take China to WTO over barley tariff

Australia’s climate zones slide southwards at 60km/decade



Many other stories published by Grain Central can be accessed from Grain Central’s extensive story archive. Simply enter a key word or two into the ‘Search’ box at the top, right-hand corner of the Grain Central website.



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