Growers say canola production down in South Australia due to GM moratorium

20 April 2015. Source: SA Country Hour (ABC Radio)

Grain producers in South Australia are warning canola production will keep declining in the state if they are unable to plant genetically modified varieties.

CEO of Grain Producers South Australia, Darren Arney, said low prices and high production costs led to a huge reduction in the amount of canola being planted in the state this year.

He said South Australian growers were competing with Canada and the other Australian states who could grow GM varieties.

Until they were able to use those varieties, he said, it would be an uphill battle to grow the crop.

“We need a lift in the price now if Canada’s growing a lot more canola year on year it’s going to be hard to see that price come up,” Mr Arney said.

“Until we have access to the same technology that other producers in Australia have, then I guess we’ll see less canola and more cereal.

“(It means) less risk and, over time, potentially less production or less productivity from the state while we wait for the technology to come through.”