Viterra intake swells, GPSA calls for safe road use

Grain Central, October 24, 2023

Viterra Tailem Bend employee Teegan Ditkun at the sample stand with driver Rick Bonython, delivering barley on Friday on behalf of Smimac Farming Trust to mark the first new-season delivery to the site. Photo: Viterra

SOUTH Australia’s major bulk handler Viterra has received 195,613 tonnes at its sites this week to lift the harvest intake for 2023-24 to Sunday to 272,589t, it said in its latest weekly harvest report.

Sites in the Western region took the majority of receivals, and barley made up the largest proportion of deliveries during the week, followed by wheat and lentils.

Among the 14 sites that received their first loads were four in South Australia’s Eastern region, marking the official start of the 2023-24 harvest for its upcountry sites.

Week to Oct 22 Harvest to Oct 22
Western region 123,593 184,061
Central region 69,526 85,584
Eastern region 2,495 2,944
TOTAL TONNES 195,613 272,589

On October 18, grower Tyson Paech of family business Inglebrae Holdings made the region’s first delivery with a load of barley into Monarto South, followed by Dean Falting delivering barley to Loxton.

Mr Paech said despite the drier year, he was expecting a steady season.

“The sub-soil moisture from last year got us through and we’ve achieved average crops, but with a bit more rain, we could have been looking at another record year,” Mr Paech said

“Surprisingly, our legumes are looking like our stand-out crop, which we weren’t expecting because they don’t usually enjoy dry conditions, though the rain in July-August helped us a lot.”

Viterra Eastern region operations manager Andrew Cannon said he was pleased to see growers start their harvest.

“From our discussions with local growers, harvest in the region is looking promising overall with average to above-average crops,” Mr Cannon said.

Eastern region deliveries continued later in the week with Tailem Bend and Pinnaroo receiving their first new-season deliveries.

Viterra Central region operations manager Jack Tansley said receivals in the region have started to build, with six sites receiving their first deliveries and weekend operations starting at others.

“During the week, we saw Booleroo Centre, Bowmans, Bute, Crystal Brook, Owen and Snowtown receive their first loads for harvest,” Mr Tansley said, adding that lentils continued to be the main commodity received.

Viterra Western region operations manager Nick Pratt said receivals during the week were strong, with Buckleboo, Edillilie, Elliston, and Streaky Bay receiving their first loads.

“We’re seeing a mix of wheat, barley, canola and lentils coming into the system now,” Mr Pratt said.

“It’s been great to open up more sites with the warmer weather seeing more of our grower customers’ crops ready to harvest.”

Reminder on road safety

Grain Producers SA has reminded motorists to be aware of the thousands of additional heavy vehicles on the road for the rest of 2023 as the grain harvest gets into full swing.

GPSA chief executive officer Brad Perry said there will be a significant increase in truck movements carting grain in the coming months.

“Motorists will start to notice extra heavy vehicles on country roads as harvest ramps up and it’s important that people remain patient and exercise caution when interacting with trucks,” Mr Perry said.

“Harvest truck movements are likely to still be going into December, which is already busy on the road due to the festive holidays, and we want to remind everyone that safety must be paramount.

“It’s important to plan your trips ahead, drive to the conditions and ensure it is completely safe before
overtaking trucks and large agricultural vehicles.”

“For heavy vehicle operators, this is also a timely reminder to make sure heavy vehicles are correctly
registered or permitted and are properly checked before use.

“For the grain producers and carriers, it’s important to have a safe access point at paddock entry or loading for heavy vehicle accessibility and safety in all weather conditions.

“Whether it’s a farm-owned heavy vehicle or grain producers using contractors to cart grain, the message from us is clear: take your time to ensure you’ve considered any risks and put appropriate steps in place to make your harvest operations safe.”

SA Police reminds motorists to:

  • Only overtake when it is clearly safe;
  • Do not attempt to pass a heavy vehicle which is engaging in a left or right turn, or approaching a roundabout;
  • Be aware of the blind spots: if you cannot see the vehicle in fronts mirrors, they cannot see you;
  • When overtaking with a caravan or other long vehicle in tow, be aware of the windrush and suction effects of the turbulent air created by the heavy vehicle;
  • Plan your journey, allowing additional time to arrive at your destination.

Source: Viterra, Grain Producers SA


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