WESTERN Australian bulk handler CBH Group has received 2.4 million tonnes (Mt) of grain in the harvest to November 13, the company said in its first Harvest Report for 2022-23.
While this year’s harvest officially kicked off on September 27 with a canola load at the Geraldton Terminal, the wet, cooler weather across the state resulted in most growers pausing their harvesting plans to wait for crops to dry out.
Over the past two weeks, grain receivals have ramped up with grain now received across all zones and the majority of sites expected to open in the next few weeks.
Chief operations officer Mick Daw said the relatively early and soft start to harvest had enabled the CBH team to effectively utilise this time to reduce carry.
“While recent rainfall events have slowed most growers down, the CBH team has been using this time effectively and working hard to clear out as much carry as we can to port to allow us to increase upcountry storage capacity,” Mr Daw said.
“Thanks to another record-breaking shipping month, we have successfully reduced the carry position to below 3 million tonnes, which has put us in a great position for harvest.”
“All commodities are now in the system, with approximately 60 per cent of our receivals made up of canola”.
“While harvest is still in its early stages, grower feedback has indicated that yields, at this stage are higher than predicted.”
“We are working hard to balance the expected pressure on cycle times at larger sites to ensure that we can maximise throughput as best we can.”
“However, we have a lot of new harvest casuals working on site so please be friendly and remain patient as they continue to learn and help us safely receive this large crop.”
Harvest in the Albany zone is just starting, with the Lake Grace and Jerramungup areas receiving the most deliveries so far. The slow start to harvest is largely attributed to growers battling high moisture levels to allow them to deliver.
To date, most of the zone’s deliveries have been canola, with quality good so far.
All areas in the Albany Zone have sites open and the average cycle time is sitting at 41.1 minutes.
Harvest is progressing slowly in the Esperance Zone due to rain over the past month and throughout October. When there has been a break in the weather, tonnages were steady, with the highest day of receivals so far reaching 41,829t. This is approximately 10,000t behind where the Esperance Zone was at the same time last year with daily receivals.
Canola is the dominant crop being received in the zone to date, with barley and wheat receivals still slow.
More rain is forecast over the coming week, and this could further frustrate harvest progress.
CBH is starting to see the impacts of the weather, with crops starting to lay over, which could cause an issue with harvest and quality.
All sites are open except for Dunn Rock and Shark Lake, with the latter site expected to open as soon as the weather passes and receivals pick up. The average cycle time for the zone is 56 minutes.
Geraldton Zone has had minimal weather delays compared to other zones, but cooler weather has meant this year’s harvest is coming in slower than normal.
Geraldton has received approximately 46pc canola, 38pc wheat, 10pc lupins, and 6pc feed barley to date.
Yields and grain quality are better than what many growers expected, with good oil content for canola and higher protein wheat than expected.
All sites in the Geraldton Zone are now open except for Latham and Marchagee, with an average cycle time of 47.2 minutes.
Kwinana North Zone
Harvest in the Kwinana North Zone has been affected by weather events, with hail damage being reported across the zone.
Receivals are starting to pick back up as the weather heats up, and the majority of the grain received so far is canola and barley, with only small amounts of oats, lupins and wheat, with the quality of both canola and barley good.
Most sites in the zone are now open, with an average cycle time of 41.8 minutes.
Kwinana South Zone
Harvest progress has been slow due to weather events experienced across the zone.
Canola is still the dominant grain, followed by barley which is now being received in most areas.
Wheat loads have been received in Areas 10 and 11, with some lupins and oats also received at sites offering those segregations.
Grain quality has been good in general and some sites have reported Maximus barley varieties going at 50pc malt
All sites are expected to run normal opening times this week. The Avon site was opened this past Sunday, to make up for the time lost due to weather during the week.
Source: CBH Group