Eyre farmers contribute to record SA harvest


Viterra's Jarrod Russel in front of the Port Lincoln silos, which has contributed to a record year for South Australia.

In the final Primay Industries and Regions SA Crop and Pasture Report for this harvest, total grain production for the 2016/17 harvest as finished at 11.1 million tonnes.

This exceeds the previous record of 10.3 million tonnes set during the 2010/11 harvest.

Viterra western region operations manager James Murray said Western region added to this with a record 3.2 million tonnes.

On Lower Eyre Peninsula farmers produced 553,000 tonnes of wheat along with 233,000 tonnes of barley, 53,000 tonnes of lupins and 150,000 tonnes of canola, the highest result in the state.

The Crop and Pasture Report said yields were above average with some growers reporting their best yields ever.

Landmark Cummins agronomist Mick Broad said it was certainly a record year for growers in terms of grain but positive feelings were limited due to the low performing grain prices.

“There was some disappointment but most were quietly surprised by the yields,” he said. “Imagine having that year with the year before’s prices.”

Mr Broad said canola was the big winner this season, in yield and price, while pulse prices were ordinary with lentils half of what they were last season.

Eastern Eyre produced the highest tonnage for wheat in South Australia with more than one million tonnes, along with 195,000 tonnes of barley, 16,800 tonnes of oats and 19,000 tonnes of canola.

The Crop and Pasture Report said grain yields were well above average in areas near Wharminda, Arno Bay and Cowell although frost had considerable impact on yields near Kielpa, Darke Peak and Mangalo.

Western Eyre Peninsula recorded the third highest wheat tonnage with 955,000 tonnes, behind Eastern Eyre and Mid North. The region also produced 138,000 tonnes of barley, 34,000 tonnes of oats and 12,000 tonnes of canola.

The Crop and Pasture Report said harvest was completed by the middle of December with many farmers having achieved record yields.

Mr Murray said the focus was now on shipping the record crop out before the next harvest.

“More than 1.5 million tonnes has been exported from the Western region already through our Port Lincoln and Thevenard ports,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell said the amount of grain SA famers have grown was incredible.


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