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Esperance zone breaks all time record


Operations Update

CBH 2021/22 Harvest Report 

Tonnes stated are accurate as of Monday morning, 13 December.

Large volumes of grain continue to pour into the CBH network, with an additional 3 million tonnes delivered last week taking the total receivals to more than 15 million tonnes. 

Chief Operations Officer Mick Daw said that despite some growers nearing the end of their programs and a few harvest bans, more sites had continued to break records last week. 

"Despite deliveries slowing down marginally last week, some sites have continued to break records."

"The Esperance Zone has also broken its all time record of 2.8million tonnes, with the zones total receivals sitting at nearly 3 million tonnes."

"These records have been made possible by our growers, frontline and maintenance teams, as well as our significant investment into expanding and enhancing our network sites," said Mr Daw. 

Mr Daw acknowledged that this unprecedented volume had placed significant pressure on everyone involved with harvest including growers, their families, employees, transporters and CBH staff. 

"As the pace of harvest continues, we are actively working to ensure that we can maintain services for growers".

"We are doing absolutely everything that we can to put more capacity on and ease pressure which includes opening some old network sites and building emergency storage."

"We have successfully completed over two million tonne of emergency storage and we are continuing to build more."

"However, more sites will continue to fill and close in the next 7 to 10 days."

"We understand that some growers may be frustrated but we kindly ask for their patience and understand that we are running out of room."

We will continue to use the CDF app to send notifications on the availability of services, including temporary and permanent closures. If these closures do occur, the CDF app should also be used to determine where alternative services are available at surrounding sites. If you have any issues with the CDF app, please contact the Grower Service Centre.


Zone Summary

Albany Zone

  • The Albany zone had good harvesting weather last week with warmer conditions across most of the zone. The zone received 730,000 tonnes in the last seven days, bringing the total 2,675,000 tonnes.
  • There was some rain in the southern parts of the zone early in the week, which allowed us to do some site hygiene when deliveries dropped off. More warm to hot weather this week will see deliveries start to increase again.
  • The majority of growers have finished canola and are moving onto barley, wheat and oats.
  • The overall grain quality is good with some minor quality issues in areas which have been impacted by water logging.
  • All sites are open and are receiving grain, with average cycle time slightly decreasing with the move to wheat.

Esperance Zone

  • Harvest has been progressing well in the zone with over 535,000 tonnes coming into the zone in the last 7 days, bring the total to 2,980,000 tonnes. Many growers are pushing hard to complete their programmes prior to Christmas.
  • Wheat dominates the receivals now with barley tapering off in the zone. Our quality team are now placing focus on silo bags that have been stored on farm and sending teams out into the field to sample and co-ordinate the delivery of that grain.
  • All sites still remain open, although storage space is becoming tight at many. Most sites have outloading options to keep them open for grower deliveries. It is expected that some sites will have to close due to filling.
  • Growers are encouraged to use CDF App and keep in touch with their Area Managers who have been communicating service closures and options for deliveries.
  • The average zone cycle time is on par with previous weeks.

Geraldton Zone

  • The Geraldton Zone had a disrupted week with harvest bans and power outages. 420,000 tonnes were received, bringing the zone total to 3,360,000 tonnes.
  • Mainly wheat is being received, with very few grower delivering the other commodities.
  • Many growers are finished or near finished and some sites will close this week due to being full to capacity.

Kwinana North Zone

  • The Kwinana North Zone had  good harvesting conditions in the past week, receiving 720,000 tonnes and bringing the total to 3,840,000 tonnes.
  • Mostly wheat is now being received with only small amounts of canola and barley still to come in.
  • Grain quality across all commodities is still tracking well and yields are above expectations at this stage. 
  • All sites in the zone remain open for receivals although some sites across the zone will fill and close in the next 7 to 10 days. 
  • The average cycle time has improved with the switch to predominantly wheat.

Kwinana South Zone

  • Besides the mid-week harvest bans, the Kwinana South Zone had good harvesting conditions during the past week and received 680,000 tonnes. This takes the zone to 2,980,000 tonnes.
  • Wheat is the main grain being received, with only small amounts of canola and barley still to come in.
  • Yields continue to well above expectations for wheat and minimal quality issues are being seen.
  • The average cycle time has slightly improved again this week.
  • Some sites across the zone will fill and close within the next two to seven days. 
  • This will be communicated to growers through CDF App. Growers are also encouraged to follow-up with Area Managers if they have further questions.

Market Update


Wheat markets were mostly softer over the past week with marketers uncertain of future demand in the second half of the year as available shipping capacity becomes very tight in the first half of 2022. This season has seen a significant amount of first half capacity being filled by the record canola crop plus early sales of feed barley resulting in wheat being pushed into the deferred months. Demand for APW and higher grades still remains strong with APW still remaining in the $415 per tonne FIS despite a generally softer market.


Malt barley premiums continued to widen with the malt - feed spread now at $25 per tonne after trading early this year at $3-5 per tonne. Rain on the East Coast and lower selection rates across most areas is seeing the market look for good quality malting barley at $300 per tonne + FIS Kwinana. Feed barley demand remains isolated with most buyers looking to wait until more clarity on production potential out of the Northern Hemisphere.


Strong canola shipping to Europe continues with marketers covering some of there early requirements. However the market in the deferred months post May shipment remains non existent as crushers look to wait until the Northern Hemisphere crop. This may cap any upside as marketers will be reluctant to hold significant volumes of canola into a market that is clearly lower past June shipment.


Harvest Heroes

Each year, our existing CBH staff are joined by hundreds of harvest employees, and as a team they work together to receive the WA crop as safely and efficiently as possible. We want to highlight some of these harvest heroes who help make our grain supply chain the best in the world, and make harvest our favourite time of year.

Lleyton Sewell is a Receival Point Operator (RPO)at our Narembeen site and always brings energy and positivity to the role, even on the most challenging days.

Lleyton has been described by his supervisor as a life saver at Narembeen this harvest. He puts in a huge effort every day, always showing initiative and willing to help out his colleagues. 

As well as doing the normal RPO duties such as operating grids, communicating with growers and maintaining site hygiene, he has taken on additional tasks in this record-breaking year. This includes helping coordinate harvest employees to support his supervisor and volunteering to help colleagues around the site troubleshoot equipment issues and clean up spills.

Area Manager Adam Elliott says, "Every time I turn up to site, Lleyton is doing something important, yet still maintains a positive attitude and does his job with a smile. This has had a huge impact on other staff and growers during this exceptionally busy and stressful harvest."

This positive feedback is backed up by grower comments that the Narembeen site is running “the best it ever has” and that Lleyton has contributed significantly to this. While thankful for the praise, Lleyton believes that everything is a team effort and that the success of the site this year is due to everyone working together to do the best they can each day for the farmers.

It’s people like Lleyton who make up our team of Harvest Heroes.


Lleyton Sewell, Receival Point Operator at Narembeen

(Lleyton Sewell, Receival Point Operator at Narembeen)

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