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Record breaking harvest extends to rail with five consecutive record months


The Western Australian grain harvest continues to exceed expectations with growers delivering 3.2 million tonnes last week, bringing the total to more than 16.7 million tonnes.

The past week has seen inclement cold and rain conditions in the central and southern parts of the state, and hot conditions and high winds with harvest bans and fires through the central and northern parts of the state. 

Chief Operations Officer Mick Daw said that while many growers are now finishing harvest for the season, there is still a lot more grain to be delivered. 

“Unfortunately, due to the frustrating weather over the past few weeks, a lot of growers throughout the south of the state are still finishing canola deliveries but will start to move over to wheat and barley.

Meanwhile, many growers in the Geraldton zone are finishing up just in time for Christmas, Mr Daw said

Despite the frustrating weather conditions, we have seen 18 sites break receival records over the past week.

Mr Daw said that in addition to the site records, the rail performance had also consistently improved over the past few months.

“It is really pleasing to see records broken on all fronts from site and zone receival records to road, rail and shipping.”

“In particular, I’d like to call out the improved rail performance which has seen our rail provider, Aurizon, continue to break monthly records consecutively from July to November.”

“The largest rail tonnage record of 8.5 million tonnes for the calendar year period from January to December was originally set in 2019, however that has already been broken with the current rail record sitting at 8.8 million tonnes, with the rest of December still yet to come.”

“This is a fantastic achievement and I'd like and congratulate the CBH team and Aurizon for their commitment to delivering value for WA growers.”

“I’d also like to congratulate those growers who have finished and wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and urge everyone to take a much-needed break.”

“Sites will be finishing at lunchtime on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Sunday and Monday.”

Please use the CDF app to check the availability of services and opening hours. 

 CBH Harvest Report

Zone Summary

Albany Zone

- There has been some good harvesting weather this week across the Albany Zone, which has seen 774,100 tonnes delivered for the week, bringing the zone total to 2,648,100 Tonnes.

- In the northern part of the zone, barley and wheat are the majority of grain being delivered, and in the southern areas, barley and canola with smaller tonnes of wheat are making up deliveries.

- Grain quality has been good across the zone and yields continue to be above expectations.

- All sites in the zone are open and receiving grain, with average zone cycle time sitting at 38.9 minutes.


Esperance Zone

- Receivals in the Esperance Zone have been impacted by inclement weather and moisture concerns, bringing total receivals for the zone to 2.1 million tonnes.

- Wheat, barley, canola, field peas and lupins are all being received across the zone.

- The Esperance Zone is being affected by unseasonably cool conditions for this time of the year.

- Segregation changes have been implemented to offer the growers more flexibility on receival. 

- All sites are open in the zone, with the average cycle time for the Esperance Terminal and Shark Lake sitting at 61.7 minutes, Area 19 at 51 minutes and Area 18 at 44.1 minutes.


Geraldton Zone

- The Geraldton Zone total is sitting at 3.7 million tonnes and is starting to receive less tonnes every day.

- Wheat and lupins the main commodities being received.

- Grain quality is good and yields are still above expectation.

- Some sites will close over the next week with all major sites remaining open.

- Average site cycle time is 46.8 minutes.


Kwinana North Zone

- The Kwinana North Zone has received 919,800 received for the week and 4.9 million tonnes received year-to-date

- Harvesting conditions were good for the week, with only a small amount of rain on Tuesday that slowed deliveries. 

- We are now receiving all commodities across the zone; however canola is largely complete and growers are now into their barley and wheat programs.

- Grain quality has been good with yields higher than expected in some areas.

- All of the sites are open throughout each area, with zone cycle time sitting at 40.4 minutes.
-There have been a few sites close for the season this week and will be more into next week.

Kwinana South Zone

- The Kwinana South Zone experienced a similar week to last, taking approximately  742,600 tonnes for the week, bringing the zone total to 3.2 million tonnes.
Wheat has been the predominant commodity received to date.
- Some segregations are starting to close as services fill. 
- Kwinana South Zone has received 71.6% of the estimated harvest received to date.


Harvest Heroes

Each year, our existing CBH employees are joined by hundreds of harvest casuals, and as a team they work together to receive the WA crop as safely and efficiently as possible.  

We again 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.  

This week’s Harvest Heroes are Celia Gardner (Manager – Network Planning), Casey York (Senior Analyst – Network Planning) and Patrick Beck (Manager – Project Delivery).  

The three team members were nominated by Nelson Aylmore, Head of Network Planning, for their hard work in driving the ‘Peak Planning’ process where they have facilitated the temporary storage program over the past 18 months.  

With two bumper crops in a row, the temporary storage builds have added over 20 per cent of storage to the states network in a short period and has been pivotal in helping CBH receive and store the crop.  

The process has required massive collaboration across CBH with team members from Operations, Grower & External Relations, and Project Delivery Group (PDG), as well as external stakeholders including shires, growers and contractors, who are key in making the builds possible.  

The process is very dynamic and agile with daily calls, weekly check-ins and nonstop teamwork with Area Managers and Zone Managers to overcome challenges and make the builds happen in a really short timeframe.  

Working together, Celia and Casey have driven the ‘Peak Planning’ process facilitating over 4.5 million tonnes of temporary storage builds across the network including: 

- Retaining 21/22 harvest temporary storage builds totalling 2.3Mt across 33 sites 

- Building new 22/23 temporary storage builds totalling 2.2Mt across 37 sites 

While Patrick as the lead Project Manager from PDG has overseen the execution of the 22/23 temporary storage builds.  

Nelson also gave a special shoutout to Tim Roberts (Specialist – Regulatory Approvals), Michael Munday (Manager – Expansion Studies) and Brad Ashworth (Manager – Project Delivery) who have been key members of the Peak Planning process too.  

Nelson said that with two big years of crops and huge temporary storage build programs, Peak Planning has now been embedded as ‘business as usual’ process within Operations and PDG. 

“The ability to execute the temporary storage program has only been possible due to the incredible collaboration between a large group of people in and outside of CBH.” 

“It’s a huge achievement that everyone should be proud of.” 

It’s people like Celia, Casey, Patrick, Tim, Michael, Bradley and our entire ‘Peak Planning’ team who make up our team of harvest heroes and help keep our supply chain operating.

CBH Harvest Report - Harvest Heroes

  Left to right: Casey York, Celia Gardner and Patrick Beck. 

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