VITERRA received barley on Saturday into its Port Pirie site to kick off deliveries for South Australia’s major bulk handler in the 2020-21 harvest.
This is the fourth year in a row Viterra’s first receival has been at Port Pirie.
The delivery came from the Mudge family’s Sandalwood Ag, and owner Barry Mudge said he was happy with the quality of his barley crop.
“Our mild winters mean we tend to be a very early district,” Mr Mudge said.
“This year, we had quite a warm and dry September which finished our barley crop a bit quicker than usual, meaning we started harvest even earlier.
“Despite the early finish, we’re happy with our quality and to have received BAR1 on our first load.”
Viterra opened the site to receive the Mudges’ barley, and has since received more loads into Port Pirie, as well as a load of peas into Gladstone.
“It meant we were able to get three loads out of the way, which enabled us to continue harvesting during the good weather over the weekend.”
Mr Mudge said he was feeling positive about the season, and was waiting for the rain to hold off so he could move on to harvesting lentils and then wheat.
“All our sites are on track to be ready for first deliveries and we are working closely with growers to suit opening times around their needs,” Viterra operations manager Michael Hill said.
In its first first weekly harvest report for the week ending 4 October, Viterra received 77t of grain in its central region, with deliveries yet to start in its eastern and western regions.
All deliveries will be in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
“We recently updated growers about how the delivery process will be different this year.
“We appreciate everyone’s support in following our new processes and requirements at our sites to help keep our communities safe and healthy.”
Recruiting well advanced
Viterra human resources manager Alyson Gilbey said Viterra’s harvest recruitment for up to 1800 seasonal workers across its sites was going well.
“We are well progressed through our recruitment and continue to review applications, conduct interviews, arrange medicals and provide training,” Ms Gilbey said.
Some employees have started working at sites in areas that have an earlier start to harvest, and many of its site groups have reached capacity and closed applications.
“We still have applications open in some regions on Eyre Peninsula and through the Mid North.
“We are confident we will meet the number of workers required at our sites and we are well prepared for the coming harvest.”