Agreement on Grain Harvest Code of Practice ahead of the Fire Danger Season
The existing Grain Harvest Code of Practice will remain unchanged for the 2023-24 harvesting season and the farming community will continue to use the Grass Fire Danger Index (GFDI) measurement this year, with the cease harvest threshold of GFDI 35.
This will retain the practices which were followed during the 2022-2023 harvest season.
The Country Fire Service and Grain Producers SA (GPSA) will continue to meet regularly throughout the upcoming Fire Danger Season, so that regular engagement can occur to monitor and evaluate the impact of the Grain Harvest Code of Practice on farmers, and to progress conversations through a Working Group with an Independent Chair.
CFS Chief Officer Brett Loughlin AFSM said the CFS is committed to continuing working with GPSA into the future.
"I firmly believe our ongoing dialogue, in particular throughout and post the coming Fire Danger Season, will position us well to refine the Grain Harvest Code of Practice," Mr Loughlin said.
"We acknowledge there are varying practices as well as capability in use across our farming districts for the collection of data used to calculate and apply the GFDI."
"At the end of the Fire Danger Season we will debrief together, so that the entirety of the harvest period can be evaluated, and lessons learned be applied in years to come."
Following the implementation of the Australian Fire Danger Rating System in September 2022, the GFDI measurement in South Australia was superseded by the Fire Behaviour Index (FBI).
Throughout the 2022-2023 grain harvest season, however, industry raised concerns that calculations for the new FBI 40 were too complex and not equivalent to the previous GFDI 35 when implementing the 'cease harvest' threshold.
Emergency Services Minister Joe Szakacs said there had already been significant consultation with fire services and the harvesting community over the Grain Harvest Code of Practice, which would continue.
"I thank the CFS and GPSA for the constructive approach that has been taken to managing harvesting safety ahead of the upcoming summer," he said.
"I look forward to the continuation of this ongoing work and dialogue, with a focus on achieving positive outcomes for both the harvest season and community safety."