Grains start to fill bins

Countryman - - FRONT PAGE - Dorothy Hen­der­son

The Esper­ance Port Zone has be­come the first re­ceival point in WA to ac­cept har­vested grain.

Esper­ance may be fur­ther south and as­so­ci­ated with cooler climes and tra­di­tion­ally has a later har­vest than other grain­grow­ing ar­eas of the State, but with 225 tonnes of canola in the bins at the Chad­wick CBH Group re­ceival point, it is lead­ing the charge this har­vest.

Esper­ance CBH ter­mi­nal qual­ity co-or­di­na­tor Kim Thorn­ton said the canola de­liv­ered to the re­ceival point so far came from two grow­ers, both in the Sped­din­gup area.

Trucks de­liv­er­ing the grain have been mak­ing their trips in the morn­ing and are a rel­a­tively lonely sight as they me­an­der through yet-to-be-filled stor­age ar­eas, with none of the long lines of in­com­ing ve­hi­cles that will be more com­mon­place as the har­vest gets into full swing.

For now, trucks en­ter­ing with full loads may be out­num­bered by those leav­ing with the last of the 2016-17 har­vest, des­tined for ships de­part­ing Esper­ance Port.

CBH Group gen­eral man­ager op­er­a­tions David Cap­per con­firmed that the first de­liv­ery of canola to the Esper­ance site of­fi­cially kick­started the 2017-18 har­vest.

“First re­ceivals are usu­ally a race be­tween Ger­ald­ton and Esper­ance; how­ever, weather con­di­tions dur­ing the grow­ing pe­riod mean that Esper­ance is

the first to be­gin this year’s har­vest,” he said.

Mr Cap­per said that this sea­son’s crop es­ti­mate was pre­dicted to be be­tween 9.5 and 10.5 mil­lion tonnes to be re­ceived by CBH. With rains across WA in Au­gust and Septem­ber, this num­ber could in­crease sig­nif­i­cantly but it is likely WA will still pro­duce a below-av­er­age crop.

Last week Esper­ance Port Zone man­ager Mick Daw said the zone’s ex­pected pro­duc­tion to­tal of 3mt looked like smash­ing last year’s record of 2.7mt of grain de­liv­ered.

He said that grain pro­duc­tion in the Esper­ance Port Zone con­tin­ued to climb.

“I have seen it go from 1.5 mil­lion tonne, to 1.6 mil­lion, to 2.5, then to 2.7 mil­lion, it just keeps go­ing up.”

He said that the in­creases in grain pro­duc­tion were a re­flec­tion of the abil­ity of farm­ers to con­tinue to im­prove their pro­duc­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

“They are good at do­ing what they are do­ing,” Mr Daw said.

ABOVE: Wit­tenoom Hills farm­ers Ash­ley, Felic­ity and Travis Ste­wart are among those in Esper­ance al­ready in har­vest mode, with swathers plough­ing their way through pad­docks of canola. This pic­ture was cap­tured by Travis when he sent up a drone to survey...

Pic­tures: Dorothy Hen­der­son

Esper­ance Freight Lines driver Robert Fur­niss and CBH Esper­ance Port Zone ter­mi­nal qual­ity co-or­di­na­tor Kim Thorn­ton jug­gle the trickle of in­com­ing grain from the 2017-18 har­vest with con­tin­u­ing out-load­ing of last year’s bounty. ABOVE RIGHT: CBH...

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