Countryman - - FRONT PAGE - Melissa Wil­liams

We are ex­pect­ing above-av­er­age yields for the ce­re­als, which over the long term pro­duce about 2t/ha.

Mullewa grow­ers Rod and An­drew Messina did not quite get brag­ging rights for mak­ing the first grain de­liv­er­ies to CBH in Ger­ald­ton last week to kick-start this year’s har­vest.

But it was the ear­li­est tim­ing for the broth­ers and their bar­ley was in the top five lo­cal loads, as re­ceivals started trick­ling in to the grain han­dler from across the State.

To Mon­day of this week, CBH had re­ceived 6100 tonnes of canola, wheat and bar­ley in the Ger­ald­ton port zone; 810t of canola in the Esper­ance zone; and 31t of feed bar­ley in Kwinana.

Like many grow­ers in the north­ern agri­cul­tural re­gion, the Messi­nas’ start to har­vest was in­ter­rupted by mi­nor rain­fall and heavy dews in the mid­dle of last week.

But by Tues­day this week their three head­ers were mov­ing through crops again.

Rod Messina said about 150ha of the fam­ily’s to­tal 500ha bar­ley crop was now in the bin and had yielded an av­er­age of three to four tonnes per hectare.

He said late-sea­son rains had im­proved the over­all pro­duc­tion out­look for the fam­ily’s crops, which in­cluded plant­ings of 6500ha of wheat, 3500ha of lupin and 160ha of canola.

“We are ex­pect­ing aboveav­er­age yields for the ce­re­als, which over the long term pro­duce about 2t/ha,” he said.

“But this could have been far bet­ter had it not been for the dry spring con­di­tions.”

Mr Messina said wheat and bar­ley were sown dry, right be­fore rain­fall of 17-20mm was re­ceived on May 24.

He said this had been an ideal start to the 2018 sea­son and was fol­lowed by 210240mm of win­ter rain­fall.

Mr Messina ex­pects the high­est-yield­ing crops on the prop­erty will be those har­vested from a 4000ha area that had been deep ripped to cap­ture early-sea­son sub­soil mois­ture.

CBH gen­eral man­ager op­er­a­tions David Capper said grain re­ceivals across WA were likely to ramp-up in com­ing days in the Ger­ald­ton and Kwinana port zones due to ex­pected warmer weather.

Pic­ture: Jus­tine Rowe

Farm man­ager An­thony Dreghorn with Mullewa grower Rod Messina af­ter har­vest started at the Messina prop­erty.

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