November 25, 2008
West Australia's grain harvest gathers pace; reaches 2.8 million tonnes
A harvest of winter grains including wheat is gathering pace in Western Australia, with Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd. late Monday (November 24) reporting it now has received a total of 2.8 million tonnes into its system.
CBH, which owns that state's upcountry grain storage and export network, expects to receive between 10 million and 12 million tonnes of winter grains this season, well above the 2007 harvest of 8.5 million tonnes, but down on a record of 14.7 million tonnes in 2003, about 70 percent of which is usually wheat and 20 percent barley.
Harvest is most advanced in CBH's northern Geraldton zone, and if the favourable weather continues, stripping of crops in the region should start to wind up in two weeks, CBH said in a statement.
Elsewhere, rainfall has slowed the harvest, with concerns emerging in some southern areas about grain quality, CBH reported.
CBH doesn't own the grain it receives for storage and export. Rather, growers warehouse it in the system as they decide where and when to sell it or assign it to a collective sales pool manager. Nearly all the grain produced in the state is exported.
Typically, the harvest cascades south as the year progresses, finishing near the south coast around year-end.