Widespread rain over the central regions of Western Australia in the past month have arrested the slide in winter crop grain yields, lifting the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia’s (GIWA) latest estimate for WA production to 15.653 million tonnes.
Western Australian growers have delivered 1.27 million tonnes of grain in the harvest to November 8. State bulk handler CBH Group said interest from export customers is on the rise as domestic demand from eastern states takes a back seat.
A vessel carrying wheat from Western Australia is due to arrive in Gladstone next month to supply the piggery and feedlot sector in Central Queensland.
Numerous transport companies in Victoria and New South Wales are sending trucks to Western Australia to help out with its harvest in light of reduced yields and area in the drought-hit eastern states.
WA farmer and agricultural leader, Peter Roberts, reflects on the dramatic advances in crop production and the opportunities ahead that point to a bright future for the grains industry, despite the many challenges and threats in a world of increasing public scrutiny.
Commercial grain users in the eastern half of New South Wales are committing to wheat, barley and oats shipped in from Western Australian and South Australia via Port Kembla and Newcastle in a pattern which looks set to continue until next year’s winter-crop harvest.
Western Australia’s winter crop continues to ride the roller coaster with savage frosts and the driest September in more than 80 years cruelling the prospect of a potential record crop, but rain over the weekend clawing back some of the losses.
Significant storage and handing investment will be completed in time for harvest in Western Australia’s central and southern zones as CBH prepares to handle everything the 2018 winter crop can deliver.
Western Australian growers are advised to inspect canola and pulse crops for native budworm caterpillars (Helicoverpa punctigera), which have escalated in northern and central areas in recent weeks and could become an issue farther south.
Australian barley’s dominant position in the Chinese market is set to continue and Australia’s substantial share of the Chinese wheat market also remains strong, although facing competition from North American suppliers.