A SURVEY undertaken by Grain Producers SA (GPSA) revealed 90 per cent of South Australian grain producers anticipated an above average season after sowing began.
GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said nearly 29 per cent of grain producers were waiting for opening season rains to fall before sowing.
“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.”
He added state-wide reports showed variable soil moisture levels but as a regular seasonal occurrence, germination could only be encouraged through more rain.
“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 Mid and Lower North, most reports showed dry sowing is underway and in the South East it is a mix of sowing in low sub-soil moisture while others are waiting for rain,” he said.
“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 per cent are currently dry sowing.
28.8 per cent are waiting for rain before beginning to sow.
21.9 per cent are sowing into wet soil.
32 per cent are confident of an above average to bumper season.
58 per cent are anticipating an average season.
10 per cent are forecasting a below average season.
Seven per cent are planting GM Canola for the first time.
38 per cent are interested in planting GM Canola in the future.