OPINION: Predictions for 2024

Well, it’s almost the end of January in 2024.

Before you know you’ll be finished spraying (if it stops raining) and into seeding.

I’m going out on a limb but I wanted to pull together some predictions for the South Australian grain industry in 2024 (not in order of importance!). Here they are:

  1. The term dry seeding will need to be renamed to ‘not-that-dry seeding’.
  2. Weather forecasts will be made with a 99 per cent probability error rate.
  3. Someone will talk about replacing all diesel machinery with hydrogen tractors to cut greenhouse emissions.
  4. We’ll see the new version of ChatGPT – FarmGPT but it still won’t be able to predict the weather accurately. Agronomists’ jobs are safe!
  5. Diesel prices in regional areas remain the same no matter what the oil market is doing.
  6. You’ll still be waiting years for new machinery orders.
  7. People uneducated about farming will comment that everything looks green – only for the green to be weeds!
  8. There will be a new wheat or barley variety released which does not perform to expectations.
  9. Harvest forecasts get better depending on who you ask.
  10. A non-Australian rock classic will take out the top song of the Harvest 100.
  11. Plenty of hysteria around the price and supply of fertiliser and chemicals.
  12. Growing SA will move outside of Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills for the first time.
  13. Growers will get surveys, surveys and more surveys (if you are going to fill in any, please make sure it’s the GPSA ones!).
  14. There will be more workshops than days in the week in-between seeding and harvest.
  15. An unusual animal will be spotted amongst the wheat during harvest (remember the seal a few years back!)
  16. Someone will inadvertently leave their cup of tea/coffee on machinery/ute and drive off.
  17. Farmers will scramble to replace all 3G-only pieces of technology on-farm following the switch-off by Telstra mid-year.
  18. If you think sustainability is an overused word, you will be well and truly sick of hearing “biodiversity” by the end of the year.
  19. Yorke Peninsula grain producers will find plenty of snails.
  20. Grain producers will measure the Grassland Fire Danger Index of 35 at two metres because they have for the past decade and it’s worked!

Only time will tell as to whether these 2024 predictions will come true and I sincerely hope a number of them don’t. At GPSA we are planning another big year advocating on behalf of growers and engaging with our members.

By GPSA CEO Brad Perry. Originally published in the Stock Journal.