South Australia

​​​​Australian Crop Report: September edition

Winter rainfall in South Australia’s major cropping regions was average to below average. However, winter rainfall was timely and benefitted crop development in most regions. Soil moisture levels at the beginning of spring were below average in most northern cropping regions and mostly average in the lower Eyre Peninsula, the Mid-North, the lower Murraylands and the South East.

According to the latest three-month seasonal outlook (September to November), issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 30 August 2019, rainfall in September and October is unlikely to exceed median and temperatures are likely to be warmer than average in September and average in October.

The seasonal conditions that are most likely over spring will hamper grain development, especially in the northern Mallee, the Upper-North and the northern Eyre Peninsula. Crops in regions with average or better soil moisture levels at the beginning of spring will be in better condition and benefit most from timely rainfall and average temperatures in October.

Winter crop production in South Australia is forecast to increase by 25% in 2019–20 to around 6.6 million tonnes from the low level of production in 2018–19. This forecast reflects an estimated 9% increase in planted area to around 3.6 million hectares and expected yield improvements in key growing regions. Yields are forecast to be around average in the lower Eyre Peninsula, the Mid-North, the lower Murray lands and the South East, and below average in most northern cropping regions.

Wheat production is forecast to increase by 27% in 2019–20 to around 3.8 million tonnes, which reflects an estimated increase in planted area and expected increases in yields in important growing regions. However, the average yield is forecast to be 14% below the ten year average to 2018–19 because of less favourable prospects in northern cropping regions.

Barley production is forecast to increase by 24% to around 1.9 million tonnes, which largely reflects expected increases in yields which reflects sufficient levels of soil moisture in key southern regions. Planted area is estimated to have increased by 5%.

Canola production is forecast to increase by 15% to around 300,000 tonnes, which largely reflects an estimated 10% increase in planted area. Canola crops in most regions were generally in good condition at the beginning of spring and the average yield is forecast to be close to the ten year average to 2018–19. This reflects yield prospects in the lower Eyre Peninsula, the Mid-North and the South East.

Table 10 Winter crop forecasts, South Australia, 2019–20
CropArea
’000 ha
Yield
t/ha
Production
kt
Area change
%
Prod. change
%
Wheat2,050 1.83 3,750 11 27
Barley860 2.21 1,900 5 24
Canola220 1.36 300 10 15

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

Statistical tables​​​​​​​​​​​​


Last reviewed:
09 Sep 2019