CBH breaks receival records, with millions of tonnes to come as WA grain growers top last year’s harvest

CBH breaks receival records, with millions of tonnes to come as WA grain growers top last year’s harvest

The grain industry in Western Australia is on track to smash past production records by several million tonnes this season.

Key Points: WA’s main grain trader, CBH Group, surpasses its receiving record with “millions” tons yet to be harvested. Farmers enjoy ideal growing conditions throughout WA’s grain producing region. Many producers are still harvesting grain after moisture hampered progress in a protracted season

The state’s main grain trader, Cooperative Bulk Handling Group (CBH), on Thursday afternoon surpassed a receiving record of 21.3 million tons set last season.

CBH chief executive Ben Macnamara said it was a “remarkable effort” by growers to back-to-back with another bumper crop.

“I think there’s probably a few million tons more out there,” he said.

“There’s a little more grain coming through in the southern parts of the state.”

Record receptions have already been achieved in the Geraldton, Kwinana and Esperance port zones.

CBH Group broke its 2021 intake record on Thursday, with millions of tons yet to reach bins, according to Ben Macnamara. (Provided: CBH) An “outstanding” season

Industry models predict that the state’s total production by the end of the harvest will surpass 25 million tons, although the final total could exceed these estimates.

It comes after farmers found near-ideal growing conditions across much of the grain-growing region, resulting in above-average yields.

WAFarmers President John Hassell said the season had been “outstanding”.

“Overall it’s been an amazing season, spanning from late March to late October when there was unprecedented green grass,” he said.

“It’s going to help people pay off a lot of debt, it’s going to help cover the huge increase in costs for fertilizer, fuel and many of our inputs.

“It will prepare people to prepare for next year’s harvest.”

John Hassell says two consecutive record seasons will push growers to invest again in next year’s crop. (ABC News: Evelyn Manfield) A long, slow loop

High-yielding harvests and a long winter have resulted in farmers in southern parts harvesting much longer than usual.

Natalie Bowman, who runs farms in Grass Patch, about 750km southeast of Perth, described the current harvest as one of the “most frustrating” she’s experienced.

“We just had so much rain and there wouldn’t have been many days, except towards the end, where we would actually have started work before lunch,” she said.

“It’s the first time in a number of years that we haven’t finished before Christmas… it was a bit of a shock.

“Our son is at home on the farm and he has never seen a harvest come in over Christmas… but we managed to bring it in before the new year thanks to hard work and some long hours.”

There is much more to come

Among those working into the new year was Sam Lehmann, who runs farms in Cranbrook, about 200 miles south-east of Perth in the Great Southern.

“We’ll finish the harvest when we’re done, but it’s just nice to have a decent season so I don’t mind finishing a little later if that means we’ve had good years and quality” , he said.

“I think there is still a lot to do in the area.”

The Grains Industry Association of WA will release its latest crop estimate report next week.

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