Seeding underway as survey shows optimism for season ahead

Ninety per cent of South Australia’s grain producers are anticipating an average or above average season with sowing underway in many regions, according to a member survey undertaken by Grain Producers SA (GPSA).

GPSA Chief Executive Officer Brad Perry said the survey showed almost 29 per cent of grain producers are waiting for opening rains before they start to sow.

“Traditionally, Anzac Day marks the start of seeding, but an increasing number of producers are sowing earlier to spread risk and allow for timely completion of seeding programs, regardless of the rain forecast,” Mr Perry said.

“A survey of grain growers showed that just under 50 per cent have begun dry sowing and almost 29 per cent are waiting for rain.

“Areas on the Eyre Peninsula that received soaking rainfall events earlier this year are also sowing into moist soil for the first time in several seasons and reporting 2022 seeding as one of the bests starts they’ve seen in a while.

“Statewide reports indicate highly variable sub-soil moisture levels but as always around this time of year, more rain is required to encourage germination.

“The optimism for an above average crop this season is tempered by concerns about the rising costs and supply of chemicals, diesel, fertiliser and other inputs.”

Mr Perry said feedback from grain producers across the state provided mixed views on the start of the season.

“In the Mallee and Riverland, some grain producers reported dry sowing, a number appear to be sowing into moisture and others, for example in Pinnaroo, are waiting for opening rains,” Mr Perry said.

“In the Mid and Lower North, most reports were that dry sowing is underway and in the South East it’s a mix of sowing in low sub-soil moisture and others are waiting for rain.

“Parts of the Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula are enjoying a strong start to the season, sowing into ideal soil conditions”
The survey results of 73 South Australian grain growers showed:

  • 49.3% are currently dry sowing
  • 28.8% are waiting for rain before beginning to sow
  • 21.9% are sowing into wet soil
  • 32% are confident of an above average to bumper season
  • 58% are anticipating an average season
  • 10% are forecasting a below average season
  • 7% are planting GM Canola for the first time
  • 38% are interested in planting GM Canola in the future