NORTHERN HARVESTERS ON A ROLL
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.
Farm manager Anthony Dreghorn with Mullewa grower Rod Messina after harvest started at the Messina property.