WA’s historic grain harvest inches towards 20.5mt with many farmers finished but ‘a lot more’ to come in

Headshot of Cally Dupe
Cally DupeCountryman
Harvesting grain.
Camera IconHarvesting grain. Credit: CBH

Harvest may have wrapped up for many growers around WA, but the CBH Group is still preparing for “a lot more grain” to come into bins across the Albany Port Zone after waterlogging and late crops caused a delayed start to harvest.

WA grain farmers cracked the 20mt mark for the first time on December 29, with that figure sitting at 20.42mt on Monday morning.

The Kwinana North Zone was leading the charge at 4.97mt, followed by Kwinana South at 4.09mt, Albany Port Zone at 4.04mt, Geraldton Port Zone at 3.84mt and Esperance Port Zone at 3.47mt.

With a whopping 4.04mt already in the bin, CBH chief operations officer Mick Daw said there was still “a lot more grain” to be delivered across the Albany Port Zone with all primary sites still open.

Segregations at some sites are full and closed, with some sites expected to fill and close during the next week.

“Christmas gave everyone involved with harvest a brief break, but the job is far from done,” Mr Daw said.

“There could be another couple of million tonnes to be delivered, based on the industry forecast.

“We need to stay focused on getting the remaining crop in safely and efficiently for our growers, cleaning up sites and transitioning to outloading.”

Farmers in the Albany Port Zone are still cracking on with harvest, with the zone breaking its all time receival record at 4.04mt recently, and more than 700,000t received in the two weeks to Monday.

Seven sites have broken their one day receival record and 14 sites have broken their all time receival records.

This includes Cranbrook, which over the weekend surpassed the previous site record of more than 470,000 tonnes.

Harvest has largely finished in the Esperance Port Zone, with receivals tailing off since Christmas and more than 3.47mt in the bin — 155,000 of which was delivered to CBH bins during the past two weeks to Monday.

Christmas gave everyone involved with harvest a brief break, but the job is far from done.

Mick Daw

Mr Daw said key primary sites with capacity would remain open in January to receive grain still to come in.

Most farmers in the Geraldton Port Zone growers have also finished harvest, with 3.84mt in the bin and 180,000 tonnes delivered during the past two weeks to Monday. Some primary sites will remain open in January.

The record crop of 4.97mt in the Kwinana North Zone is largely in the bin, with 505,000t received in the past two weeks, while the Kwinana South Zone’s 4.09mt includes 560,000t received during the past two weeks.

While only major sites are set to remain open in the Kwinana North Zone in January, a number of sites are expected to stay available for receivals in the south zone — with some expected to fill and close within the week.

Mr Daw said CBH’s focus on safety included the introduction of contactless delivery for all sites and terminals for the remainder of harvest, following WA’s suite of positive COVID cases and restrictions put in place by the WA Government.

WA has been dealing with a COVID outbreak during the past two weeks with 16 cases that are now linked to an unvaccinated French backpacker who travelled from Queensland on December 12.

Mr Daw said growers had been informed of the new contactless delivery through the CDF app on Thursday, and an email had been sent to growers and transporters.

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