THE Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre’s fifth and final batch of seasonal update videos for 2022 indicate some good results for Australian grain producers this harvest, despite multiple delays and challenges due to flooding and extreme wet weather.
Most crops in Queensland have now been harvested, while weather interruptions have made conditions more challenging and caused crop damage and harvest delays in other major grain producing regions.
Nonetheless, large volumes of grain are being delivered and quality in many cases is better than expected.
AEGIC’s monthly videos feature grain producers from across the nation speaking about the progress of their production programs during the growing season, and come with subtitles in eight languages.
The videos are made by AEGIC in collaboration with organisations from across the Australian grains supply chain, including support from GPA, to provide insights for export customers and grain buyers.
Harvest on the eastern seaboard is well underway, with good volumes of grain being delivered.
Very wet conditions in October and November resulted in significant challenges for some farms, especially in New South Wales and northern Victoria.
Some growers in these areas are dealing with badly damaged crops and the lack of access to paddocks and damage to road networks which has delayed harvest by weeks. However, as harvest progresses it appears that crop damage might be less than expected.
Horsham grower Denise McLellan (pictured below) said her Ballista wheat crop had produced late tillers because of the unusually cool, wet conditions. These were flowering in late November when the remainder of the crop was at grain fill.
“We expect this crop to yield about three and a half tonnes a hectare,” she said.
So far grain quality is better than many had been anticipating and lots of growers are enjoying a great harvest.
In Queensland, which has mostly escaped the worst of the weather, harvest is all but complete and grain quality and yields are generally looking good.
After some relatively minor weather delays in some areas, harvest is now well underway in South Australia.
Most growers are progressing well with harvest although many are behind schedule due to continued rainfall and hailstorms in November.
Overall the South Australian harvest is expected to be a big one and growers are feeling confident.
Robin Schaefer at Bulla Burra, near Loxton, said harvest was going to take longer than usual.
“Usually here we like to be finished before Christmas,” he said. “That’s the goal but I can’t see that happening this year. We’ll probably be closer to the end of January so it's going to be a long harvest, but it will be enjoyable.”
Growers across the state are now taking advantage of good harvesting conditions.
Many growers are reporting better than predicted yields and supply chain staff are working hard to efficiently receive the large volumes of grain being delivered.
Geraldton zone grower Katrina Sasse said grain quality had been average to really good on the farm at Morawa, but canola oil and yields were very good.
“I’m fairly happy that we haven’t had too much rain, unlike other places around Australia,” she said. “Sending our thoughts to people that have lost crops. It must be absolutely devastating.”
Corrigin grower Simon Wallwork said harvest had progressed well and was expected to be completed within a fortnight.
“The canola is in the bin,” he said. “Yields have been fantastic - about 40 percent above average - with great growing season rainfall and a mild and damp finish.”