PIRSA report tips SA grain production of 8.55Mt

Grain Central June 17, 2024

Despite a less-than-ideal start to the season for much of the state, PIRSA is predicting an SA winter crop of 8.55Mt, with some crops like this early sown barley being inspected by Dodgshun Medlin agronomist Sean Matthewson faring reasonably well considering. Photo: Bulla Burra, Loxton

SOUTH Australia’s 2024-25 winter-crop production is forecast to be 8.55 million tonnes (Mt), according to the  Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA report released last week.

This is slightly above the 8.3Mt forecast by ABARES in its quarterly Australian Crop Report released June 3, and down slightly from the 8.7Mt produced last year.

PIRSA’s Crop and Pasture Report: 2024-25 Seeding Intentions was based on conditions current as of May 15, when seeding was well under way at most farms across SA, despite the dry conditions.

“The largest shift in seeding intention is the 38-percent increase in lentil production across the state, with noticeable reductions in the planned sowing of chickpeas, field peas and lupins,” the report said.

PIRSA’s latest figures continue the downtrend in barley area seen since 2019-20, when 990,000ha yielded 2.1Mt.

SA’s barley crop now in the ground is forecast at 826,000ha, and also forecast to produce 2.1Mt, despite the 17pc drop in area.

New-crop wheat is seen at 4.8Mt from 2.2Mha, little changed from last year, while canola area and production is expected to drop.

Lentil area is forecast at a record 332,400ha, and production is also tipped to be a record at 510,878t, up 41pc from last year, with both figures well below ABARES’ current estimates of 810,000t from 460,000ha.

The PIRSA report says the preliminary estimation of the total cropped area is higher than the 2023-24 season due to the anticipated reduction in pasture area for sheep production.

However, an absence of rain in early June may result in a substantial reduction in the planted area of some crops, particularly canola.

“Stored soil moisture at the end of summer was variable across the state, as some regions received significantly more rainfall than others between November and January.”

Summer weed control has been important to conserve soil moisture to benefit crops in the season ahead.

Winter rainfall will be critically important to enable crops to germinate and establish.

“Autumn pasture growth has been poor, with pasture cover below average and significant supplementary feeding taking place.

“Livestock condition is also below average due to the limited availability of paddock feed.”

Table 1: PIRSA estimates for SA’s major winter crops. Source: PIRSA 2024-25 Seeding Intentions report.



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