South Australian farmers harvest record 11.1 million tonnes of grain, enough to fill Adelaide Oval 15 times


A COMBINATION of farmer ingenuity and perfect weather have helped South Australian farmers produce a record grain harvest smashing the previous record by almost a million tonnes.

The final Crop and Harvest Report released today shows grain growers harvested 11.1 million tonnes — enough to fill the Adelaide Oval 15 times — which is an increase of 800,000 tonnes on the previous high set five years ago.

The report says the grain harvest was worth about $2.2 billion at the farm gate.

“It’s incredible to see just how much grain our farmers have grown and through challenging circumstances, with the extreme weather events our state has faced,” he said.

“South Australia is the largest lentil producer in Australia and in 2016-17 lentils were the third largest crop in the state.

“Whether you live in the city or the country, everyone in South Australia benefits when our farmers produce great crops.”

More than 12,000 people were employed in the grain industry this financial year, including more than 2500 casual employees to help manage the record harvest.

Primary Industries SA grains account manager Dave Lewis said “ideal rainfall” and growing conditions were behind the record crop.

“Of course our high crop yields are also the result of investments farmers are making in innovation, new and emerging technologies and the adoption of smarter farm management practices,” he said.

“Fortunately the rains, apart from reducing grain protein slightly, did not cause significant grain spoilage until the very last few weeks of the harvest.”

He said farmers will have to begin spraying summer crop weeds to help retain moisture for the new season crop.

The state’s grain farmers generated $4.6 billion in revenue in 2015/16.


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