Grain hauliers ready for bumper SA harvest

The second-highest crop output in the last five years has been forecast by the South Australian Government.

Transporters of grain are poised to have a busy grain season according to the latest Crop and Pasture Report which estimates 7.6 million tonnes of crop in the 2021-22 season.

With the Bureau of Meteorology outlook showing greater than average likelihood of rain for the August to October period, farmers might be getting more rain after a dry pre-season start.

“Traditionally farmers like to have rain around Anzac Day to get sowing underway but with the lack of soil moisture to start the season, many farmers dry sowed and hoped for rain which thankfully arrived in late June,” Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said.

“It is pleasing to see almost 10 per cent of South Australia’s canola crop planted with Genetically Modified canola after the Marshall Liberal Government was successful in lifting a 16-year ban,” he said.

According to the report, dry start has resulted in a larger than expected area of barley sown in place of longer season crops such as pulses and canola, while the area for wheat is near average.

“The report further highlights the decline in export hay demand has contributed to the area sown for export hay being significantly reduced this season,” said Basham.

“While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt markets, dry conditions and poorer harvests than expected in many northern hemisphere cropping areas have led to increased prices for most commodities, particularly for canola and some pulses.”

Many agriculture businesses, particularly those situated closer to the New South Wales border, are being affected by travel restrictions for staff living across the border during the ongoing Covid-19 situation in NSW.

However, the escalating Covid situation in NSW means movement across the state border could remain slow as there would be a continued need for transport operators to generate travel documentation for drivers to cross the border.

With an optimistic grain season predicted for South Australia, it could mean the slow down of stock movement for businesses on both sides of the border.