WITH New South Wales in the midst of what could well be a record winter-crop harvest, grain is pouring into the state’s storages, be they on-farm, private or public.
Among them are Boolah Farms’ three sites located at Belahna at Tulloona and Roburn at Milguy, both north of Moree, and Gunnedah on the Liverpool Plains.
They opened for new-crop deliveries in early October, and last week their combined receivals passed 120,000 tonnes, close to half their total 250,000t capacity.
Like Qube Agri, which now owns and operates the former Agrigrain sites at Coonamble and Narromine, Boolah is offering growers in this big and sporadically complex harvest a warehousing
option outside the major bulk handlers.
As growers themselves based near Moree, Boolah principals Stuart and Lyndall Tighe moved into independent warehousing in 2016.
“Our main point of difference is we’re not a trader, and the segregations we offer benefit the deliverer rather than a marketing team,” Mr Tighe said.
“A grower can deliver grain that can keep its own identity in our segregations.
“Transparency is key, we are able to show our customers on a live basis what their ownership is so they know exactly what they will be receiving.”
This differs from major bulk handlers, which can outturn stacks to volume domestic and export customers, but are often driven to co-mingle to achieve efficiency.
Range of customers
Companies buying from Boolah sites include multinationals, feedmillers and regional traders looking for particular traits in segregations, or fast and flexible outturns, or both.
All three sites have bunkers and silos, and are taking in wheat, barley, durum and chickpeas.
Belahna and Gunnedah offer a containerising service in addition to bulk capability, and Gunnedah and Milguy can outturn to rail as well as road.
“We’ll work in with the customer, and that can be to load trains that traders have booked.”
As a smaller operator, Boolah can respond deftly to changing market requirements, and can customise segregations to suit customers’ wishes.
Boolah collects and tracks information on the grain it stores.
“The customers’ needs for sustainability and traceability are paramount.
“Through the system, we have the ability to know exactly where the grain has come from down to the field, and the data behind it.”
Change in focus
Activity at Boolah Farms’ receival sites is keeping the Tighes and their team busy up-country now that their activities at Pinkenba in Brisbane are winding down.
These were instrumental in warehousing grain shipped from southern Australian ports to supply the drought-hit southern Queensland and northern NSW market in recent years.
They also handled a limited amount of sorghum grown over the 2018-19 summer to supplement capacity at Boolah’s NSW sites.