The state government has negotiated with the opposition in "good faith" over amendments to the GM Bill to allow it to pass for growers to plan their 2021 growing season.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the government had agreed to amend the Genetically Modified Crops Management (Designated Area) Amendment Bill 2019 so that local councils will have the time-limited ability to apply to be a GM free crop cultivation area.
Councils will be able to apply to have the moratorium continue within their district however the final decision will come from the Primary Industries minister.
Local councils will have six months to apply after the legislation passed, however the moratorium will remain on Kangaroo Island.
"This agreement is a great outcome for South Australian farmers who will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of growing GM where that is best for their business," said Mr Whetstone.
"The legislation will provide farmers with the regulatory certainty they need to invest in GM seed and plant GM crops in time for the 2021 grain growing season.
"After 16 years and millions of dollars in lost economic and research opportunities, it is a historic day for farmers in this state who can look forward to the choice in what they want to grow.
"Lifting the moratorium will not only provide economic benefits for our farmers but it will put South Australia on a level playing field with every other mainland state in Australia which has had access to GM technology for at least a decade."
Grain Producers South Australia chief executive officer Caroline Rhodes said it may present an opportunity to break the "political deadlock" on GM crops.
"This bipartisan compromise will hopefully serve as an orderly transition towards removing restrictions on GM crops in SA," she said.
"Under the proposed framework, the final decision on GM-free zones will still reside with the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development.
"While Labor's proposed framework is not in absolute alignment with GPSA's preferred policy position, this model may represent an acceptable compromise to enable the commercial cultivation of GM crops from 2021."
A motion in parliament in November 2019 blocked regulatory changes to immediately lift the ban in time for the 2020 growing season, after it was argued the government was side-stepping parliamentary due process.
Earlier this month the Greens announced they would move to reinstate the GM ban when parliament resumed today, April 28.