Geraldton silos fill fast after excellent grain harvest

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianMidwest Times
Massive grain silos at Geraldton Port.
Camera IconMassive grain silos at Geraldton Port. Credit: Geoff Vivian, The Midwest Times

The Geraldton Port CBH zone continues to return excellent yields as this year’s grain harvest nears completion.

CBH Geraldton manager Duncan Gray said his zone exceeded harvest estimates last week.

“With most of the zone still harvesting the network is functioning at full capacity getting in the huge daily tonnages,” he said.

“We are coming under extreme pressure at some sites for storage capacity with some services having to close off, but we are managing as best we can with our rail and road transport resources.

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“The northern part of the zone is starting to slow down and we will look at closing some of the northern sites at some stage in the near future.”

Mr Gray said most growers were harvesting wheat, with barley and canola almost complete and lupins still steady.

Grain Industry Association of WA representative Michael Lamond said the Geraldton zone harvest was about 80 per cent finished in the northern regions and 60 to 75 per cent finished in the south by Friday.

“The trend of crops yielding ‘better than they look’ from the start of harvest last month has continued,” he said.

“Total grain production for the zone will not reach the records of 2016, although it is now obvious the region will go close to, or exceed, three million tonnes for the year.

“The above-average grain yields, coupled with good prices, will see growers make up ground quicker than they could have imagined this time last year.”

Mr Lamond said crops on deep ripped and limed country and lighter soils had once again handled the very dry finish to the season.

“The difference between those areas and the compacted, shallow and heavier soils is quite marked,” he said.

“But every paddock is going better than they looked, even in the bad areas.”

While the latest CBH figures were not available at the time of going to press, GIWA provided estimated December production tonnages.

For Geraldton zone these were: wheat 2,100,000; barley 240,000; canola 270,000; oats 15,000; lupins 350,000; and pulses 2000.

The total estimated December tonnage for Geraldton was 2,977,000 and for WA 16,798,000.

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