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.
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.