Bins start to fill af­ter a slow start

Countryman - - NEWS - Cally Dupe

Ce­real har­vest is start­ing to pick up, with bar­ley, wheat and lupins trick­ling into bins across the State’s four port zones.

More than 343,000 tonnes of grain had been de­liv­ered to CBH bins on Fri­day, with Esper­ance Port Zone still lead­ing the charge at 258,000 tonnes, a whop­ping 200,000 tonnes of which was de­liv­ered last week, fol­lowed by Ger­ald­ton at 67,296 tonnes, Kwinana at 36,000 tonnes and Al­bany at 14,560 tonnes.

Min­genew grow­ers Ge­off and Fiona Cos­grove were busy har­vest­ing canola this week af­ter kick­ing off their pro­gram two weeks ago with bar­ley.

With warm con­di­tions and a 10,000ha pro­gram to com­plete, the cou­ple has 2000ha un­der their belt and two head­ers rolling 24 hours a day.

“Last week, it was too hot and the canola was too fluffy, so we started driv­ing at night, which is a bit un­usual for us,” Mrs Cos­grove said.

“The bar­ley was ready to go first . . . the spring rains made a huge dif­fer­ence and we got quite lucky, the crops were still at the stage where they could use them.”

While yields have been be­low av­er­age, Mrs Cos­grove said they were bet­ter than ex­pected with the best parts of the canola pad­docks yield­ing well.

While canola made up the bulk of grain de­liv­ered to CBH bins in Oc­to­ber, the co-op­er­a­tive’s lat­est har­vest re­port showed farm­ers’ pro­grams had started to ex­pand.

North of Ger­ald­ton at Yuna, Ni­cole and Ja­son Bat­ten had mo­tored through a third of their re­duced 4500ha pro­gram by the start of the week and were har­vest­ing canola af­ter start­ing wheat.

Mr Bat­ten said he was amazed at his crops’ come­back af­ter the worst hail­storm he had ever seen at his prop­erty oc­curred late in Au­gust.

“We are har­vest­ing canola and al­most all of it was af­fected by hail a few months ago,” he said.

“It came back well but it bruised some of the pods and knocked it around a bit.”

The bulk of the Bat­tens’ pro­gram is Mace, Ma­genta and Calin­giri wheat, with Spar­ta­cus bar­ley and Bonito canola.

While har­vest is steam­ing ahead across the Ger­ald­ton and Esper­ance port zones, de­liv­er­ies have been slow at Al­bany with the low­est de­liv­ery ton­nage by Fri­day. CBH Al­bany Zone man­ager Greg Thorn­ton said cool con­di­tions had slowed progress with 13,900 tonnes re­ceived last week.

He said de­liv­er­ies were solely canola, av­er­ag­ing 46.6 per cent in oil con­tent, with the ex­cep­tion of 330 tonnes of feed bar­ley.

“We are see­ing an in­crease in the num­ber of grower sam­ples and ex­pect de­liv­er­ies to in­crease over the next week,” Mr Thorn­ton said.

CBH Kwinana Zone as­sis­tant man­ager Al­lan Walker said de­liv­er­ies in his zone were ex­pected to pick up as the weather warmed up this week.

At Bev­er­ley, grain farmer Dun­can Young said he was watch­ing the weather and hoped to start har­vest next week.

“Mois­ture is still an is­sue around our area, it’s been a bit hit and miss with those late rains,” he said.

“We had about 7-8mm a week ago which has kept things damp.

“Cool con­di­tions have meant things are not dry­ing out as they would usu­ally.”

The bumper har­vest across the Esper­ance Port Zone had CBH con­sid­er­ing ex­tend­ing its site open­ing hours last week. Esper­ance zone man­ager Mick Daw said de­liv­er­ies had been slowed by cool con­di­tions but site hours were ex­pected to ex­tend as vol­umes in­creased.

Pic­tures: Jus­tine Rowe

Ge­off and Fiona Cos­grove with chil­dren Zac (top), Si­mon and Hamish.

Yuna farm­ers Ni­cole and Ja­son Bat­ten.

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