July 8, 2008


South Australia winter crops need good winter rains


Crops, including wheat in South Australia state, need good rains to build soil moisture for spring growth, according to a monthly Crop Report for June issued late Monday by that state's Department of Primary Industries and Resources.


"With below average rainfall for June, good falls are needed during the next couple of months to maintain yield potential and build up stored soil moisture going into spring," Peter Fulwood, a crop consultant who prepares the report, said in the report.


"There is little stored moisture throughout the agricultural districts," he said.


Planting of crops in South Australia has mostly finished and crop growth has been rapid with relatively mild temperatures, but crop establishment has been patchy in drier areas and strong winds have caused some damage, he said.


Many winter crop lands received rain in the past two days with the government's Bureau of Meteorology reporting falls heavy enough to take many crops through to August. More rainfall is forecast in coming days.


The area planted to winter crops in South Australia has been revised down, resulting in total production from winter crops now forecast at 5.83 million tonnes, down 1.9 percent on month.


Wheat production this year is estimated at 2.92 million tonnes; if achieved, up 24 percent on actual output last year.


Barley output this year is forecast at 2.01 million tonnes; if achieved, down 1.0 percent on actual output last year.


Other crops grown in the state include oats, rapeseed and various legumes.


Most of this grain is available for export.

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