WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The 2011-12 harvest has cemented its position as the second largest on record in Western Australia (WA) for CBH Group after grain deliveries on Dec. 27 pushed the state-wide tonnages to 12.65 million tonnes, to surpass the previous record for the second largest harvest set in 2005-06 of 12.5 million tonnes.

The 2003-04 harvest still holds the CBH record for highest grain intake for WA with 14.7 million tonnes delivered.

To date around 92% of WA’s estimated tonnages for the 2011-12 harvest have now been received, with more to come to achieve the estimated 13.5 million tonnes.

Earlier this month the Geraldton Zone easily broke through the previous harvest record of 2.6 million tonnes set in 2003-04 with receivals currently sitting on 3.4 million tonnes with around 98% of estimated crop in the bin.

Meanwhile, across the state some 50 sites have broken daily receival records.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said this harvest may be one of the largest on record but it also continues to be one of the most challenging.

"We have seen significant weather delays, quality issues requiring extensive use of falling number machines, bins filling and closing and a reduction in the performance of rail moving grain to port,” he said. “Although the harvest has been pleasing from a production [yield] perspective, with low grain prices and deteriorating grain quality due to inclement weather events, there will be growers in some districts struggling to make a profit, which is the disappointing part of such a high production year.

“As we enter the final stages of harvest we continue to urge growers to be patient as many sites will be reaching capacity and we will need to maximize our available storage space to ensure we can get all grain in the bin.”

Receivals by zone to date are as follows (all listed as approximates tonnes):

• Geraldton: 3,400,000
• Kwinana: 5,860,000
• Albany: 1,960,000
• Esperance: 1,345,000

Total receivals for the state: ~12,650,000