South Australia

​​​​Australian Crop Report: June edition

Rainfall in South Australia during March and April was below average and soil moisture levels were below average when planting of winter crops commenced. Above average and timely rainfall in most cropping regions during May increased soil moisture levels and improved planting and growing conditions. However, parts of the northern Murray Mallee did not receive sufficient rainfall in May to germinate dry sown crops. Planting is now largely complete, except in the south east, where planting can continue well into winter.

Winter rainfall is likely to be below average in South Australia, according to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 30 May 2019.

There is a significant chance that most areas unlikely to exceed median rainfall will receive rainfall totals sufficient to sustain crops that established successfully through until spring 2019, especially those with good stores of soil moisture in May. Most cropping regions had average or better levels of soil moisture in May with significant parts of the Eyre Peninsula and lower Yorke Peninsula at well above average or better. The ongoing development of crops will be aided if winter rainfall is timely.

Area planted to winter crop in South Australia is forecast to be around 3.6 million hectares. Winter crop production is forecast at around 7.4 million tonnes, slightly above the average production in the 10 years to 2018–19.

Area planted to wheat is forecast to increase by 8% to 2 million hectares. Wheat production is forecast to increase by 46% to 4.3 million tonnes.

Area planted to barley is forecast to increase by 10% to 900,000 hectares. This is a result of expected favourable returns from growing barley compared with production alternatives. Barley production is forecast to increase by 37% to 2.1 million tonnes.

Area planted to canola is forecast to be 210,000 hectares, 14% below the 10 year average to 2018–19, reflecting an increase in the area planted to barley and pulses at the expense of canola. Canola production is forecast to be 290,000 tonnes.

Table 10 Winter crop forecasts, South Australia, 2019–20
’000 ha
Area change
Prod. change
Wheat2,000 2.15 4,300 8 46
Barley900 2.33 2,100 10 37
Canola210 1.38 290 5 12

Note: Yields are based on area planted. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed.

Statistical tables​​​​​​​​​​​​

Last reviewed:
11 Jun 2019