Wet weather continues to hamper Australian harvest

by World Grain Staff
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WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s harvest was again hampered by wet weather as thunderstorms lead to sporadic rainfall across the wheatbelt and severe hail storms in some areas, the CBH Group said on Dec. 14.
The unseasonal weather is incredibly disappointing for growers, especially given the dry growing season and anticipated below average crop estimate this year.
Around 1.2-1.5 million tonnes of grain is still anticipated to be delivered statewide to reach the now slightly reduced harvest range estimate of 8.5-9 million tonnes.
Geraldton Zone Manager, Duncan Gray, said it was another very frustrating week in Geraldton Zone with little harvesting due to weather. The zone is currently sitting at 1.46 million tonnes.
“Quality will be in question especially for the last 70,000-80,000 tonnes left and Falling Number machines have been deployed to four sites strategically placed to support growers,” he said. “The Geraldton Zone is very close to being finished and we will be working hard to get as many growers finalised before the Christmas break.”
It was another frustrating week in the Kwinana Zone, according to Zone Manager Brett Jeffrey.
“Last week only 576,000 tonnes were received in what is traditionally our busiest week of the harvest,” he said. “There have been many properties that have had devastating rain with flash flooding and hail occurring during the later part of the week.”
CBH Albany Zone Manager, Greg Thornton, said once again it was a very frustrating week for growers with rain recorded across the zone. More than 200,000 tonnes were received for the week, bringing the zone total to 1.6 million tonnes.
“As mentioned in previous weekly reports, Falling Number machines have now been set up at all sites receiving wheat to monitor quality and protect the value where possible,” he said. “A number of smaller surge sites will close later this week and operating hours for the Christmas period will be posted at sites during the week.”
The Esperance Zone had a frustrating week after heavy rain. Prior to the rain, many growers worked long hours in an effort to finish their programs.
Esperance Zone Manager, Mick Daw, said the zone now has 1,550,000 tonnes in deliveries and things are expected to start slowing down.
“We have closed three sites already and expect to close a few more this week following the forecast of fine weather for a few days,” he said.
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