AGAINST THE GRAIN

While CBH is fore­cast­ing a de­cline in the State har­vest this sea­son, the Al­bany zone is set to buck the de­cline with a sim­i­lar re­turn to that of last year ex­pected.

Albany Extra - - Front Page - Shan­non Smith

The Al­bany re­gion is set to buck a fore­cast de­cline in grain har­vest with Co-op­er­a­tive Bulk Han­dling es­ti­mat­ing a 2017-18 grain har­vest of be­tween 9.5 mil­lion and 10 mil­lion tonnes for WA, well short of last sea­son’s record­break­ing 16.6 mil­lion tonnes.

The lack of rain­fall in many re­gions this grow­ing sea­son is likely to be the rea­son for the low ton­nage.

CBH this week re­leased its first es­ti­mate, show­ing sim­i­lar pre­dic­tions to the Grain In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion of WA’s fore­cast of 10.26 mil­lion tonnes.

This es­ti­mate in­cludes the ex­tra grain sold out­side the com­pany and re­main­ing on farms.

CBH Al­bany zone man­ager Greg Thorn­ton said the re­gion had av­er­aged 2.9 mil­lion tonnes over the past five years.

“Given where the sea­son is at the mo­ment, we an­tic­i­pate sim­i­lar ton­nages this year,” he said.

“Good rain­fall in July and Au­gust has im­proved the po­ten­tial of crops over the zone, al­though we still re­quire good fin­ish­ing rains.”

CBH Group oper­a­tions gen­eral man­ager Dave Cap­per said the fore­casts were only the first look into the com­ing har­vest.

“CBH Group is plan­ning the com­ing har­vest and these plans will con­tinue to evolve as the sea­son pro­gresses,” he said.

“Cur­rent crop es­ti­mates in­di­cate that CBH will re­ceive a well be­lowa­v­er­age crop this har­vest of be­tween 9.5 and 10 mil­lion tonnes.”

The five-year av­er­age for re­ceivals is 12 mil­lion tonnes.

To com­pen­sate for the lack of ton­nage, Mr Cap­per said CBH planned to open far fewer sites around the State.

“To re­ceive the record 16.6 mil­lion­tonne crop last har­vest, CBH utilised 154 sites — this har­vest we an­tic­i­pate 95-100 sites will be re­quired,” he said.

Co­in­cid­ing with the news of a be­low-av­er­age sea­son, the com­pany re­leased a video cam­paign this week con­sist­ing of prom­i­nent CBH fig­ures dis­cussing men­tal health in re­gional WA.

The lack of rain­fall in many re­gions this grow­ing sea­son is likely to be the rea­son for low ton­nage.

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