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Strong end of harvest for CBH Group


The 2017/18 harvest has been marked by a strong turnaround in volume with total grain delivered to the CBH Group network reaching 13.23 million tonnes.

Initial harvest estimates for the season ranged between 9.5 and 10 million tonnes however good finishing rains prompted the figure to be revised twice during the season.

Throughout the co-operative’s network, 22 receival sites broke their best one day receival record while 14 receival sites recorded their best harvest season. Most of the record-breaking sites were located within the Albany and Esperance Zones, and towards the southern end of the Kwinana Zone.

The 100 Network Strategy sites received 96 per cent of the total crop – an increase from the 94 per cent last year.

General Manager Operations David Capper said the harvest had turned out to be an above average season with total grain volumes surpassing expectations.

“We were expecting much lower volumes given the dry winter in Western Australia,” Mr Capper said.

“However the good finishing rains that came in September and October pushed our total crop estimate almost 40 per cent higher than our estimates earlier in the season.”

The Esperance Zone achieved another record-breaking harvest with 2.83 million tonnes delivered – up from 2.7 million tonnes last year. Seven sites within the zone broke daily receival records, while the Munglinup, Shark Lake and Lake King receival sites reached new seasonal records.

The Geraldton Zone received a total of 1.56 million tonnes, with 80 per cent of the harvest received in five weeks. This compares to the average harvest of approximately 80 days. Four sites in the zone received 80 per cent of the zone’s total grain delivery.

The Albany Zone received a total of 3.23 million tonnes and the Kwinana Zone received 5.6 million tonnes.

Mr Capper said in the 2017/18 harvest there were a number of events that tested CBH’s network.

“The 2017/18 harvest was punctuated by frequent short periods of wet weather, which was frustrating for growers,” said Mr Capper.

“In addition, a number of other factors including the significant increase in the crop estimate and very low harvest shipping tested our supply chain.

“However in most cases the network was agile and efficient in getting the grain safely into storage as demonstrated by the new records.

“There were some sites that struggled under the pressure of significantly higher deliveries than they were prepared for and we’d like to thank growers for working with us at those sites to get the crop in.”

Following harvest, grain is transported through CBH’s road and rail network to port sites and onto ships to export to customers worldwide. The shipping program is expected to ramp up in the coming months.