Harvest deliveries starting to ramp up

HARVEST is continuing to ramp up around the State with slightly more than two million tonnes of grain received across the CBH network.

CBH general manager of operations David Capper said Geraldton had come under significant pressure this week with sites breaking receival records.

“Moonyoonooka broke its all-time daily receival record on Tuesday by receiving 11,830 tonne,” Mr Capper said.

“This demonstrates just how busy things are up in the northern part of the State.

“Canola yields in some areas have resembled good wheat yields – this has caught out a number of sites which have not been able to extend hours quickly enough to provide growers with the service they need.

“We have had four direct to vessel ships loaded already this season with more than 100 growers benefiting from the lower-cost supply chain in the first few weeks of harvest.

“Harvest is also underway in the southern zones with Esperance starting to see some reasonable tonnes and Albany expecting to see more come through next week.”

Geraldton zone manager Duncan Gray said the Geraldton zone has just passed the 1mt mark, hitting one third of its estimated 3mt.

About 45 per cent of receivals were delivered in the past seven days.

Deliveries to date have been made up of 586,000t of wheat, 86,000t of lupins, 94,000t of barley (of which more than half is malt) and 255,000t of canola.

Canola yields have been fantastic over the zone, but Mr Gray said it was placing pressure on the main sites.

“The increase in canola yields means we’re having to take up allocated wheat space,” he said.

“Because of this we have been working on plans to increase our shipping.

“It looks as though the next week will be good for harvesting with fine weather forecast.

“We should see about another 450,000t delivered, putting us at about 50pc of expected receivals.”

Harvest is progressing in the Kwinana zone with more than 900,000 tonnes delivered.

The majority of the deliveries have been canola and barley, both about 390,000t.

Wheat deliveries commenced at the start of November with 75,000t delivered to date.

Kwinana zone manager Gavin Bignell said this season’s harvest had started later than the previous two years.

“Across the zone deliveries are 7-10 days behind the same time last season,” he said.

“Yields with crops which have not been frosted have been very good across the north of the zone, particularly canola where a number of crops are yielding in excess of 2t per hectare.

“As growers move into cereal crops we are starting to see some quality issues in those areas affected by frosts.

“However it’s a bit too early to get an accurate picture on how much the yield has been affected.”

After a slow start to harvest, the next week is looking more promising for the Albany zone.

So far slightly more than 55,000t have been delivered, of which about two-thirds was canola.

Albany zone manager Greg Thornton said frosts towards the end of the growing season were affecting quality.

“There have been some quality issues, mainly from crops in the northern parts of the zone, and we are seeing a much higher proportion of canola being segregated into lower grades,” he said.

“We’ve had some barley come through – about 70pc of that has been segregated as feed barley.

“We have also introduced some Malt 2 segregations.”

Reasonable tonnes are now starting to be delivered throughout the Esperance zone with total receivals reaching more than 310,000t this week.

Most of the grain delivered has been barley and canola.

Some wheat samples are starting to come through.

Esperance zone manager Mick Daw said most areas were still having issues with grain being too green.

“We’re looking for a few hots days to get the crop ripe and hopefully we have a good dry and hot week coming up so we can get things into full swing,” Mr Daw said.

“So far yields have been better than expected and quality in the canola has been pleasing with high oil results.”

The second direct to vessel shipment of canola from the Esperance Port was also completed this week.

CBH’s harvest estimate remains at 13-14mt.

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