WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The 2012-13 harvest is underway with two deliveries of a combined 70 tonnes of wheat made to the CBH Group's Geraldton Terminal on Oct. 2, CBH said.
CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the APW grade wheat was delivered on Tuesday morning along with several other samples.
“We are anticipating that it will be a slow start to the season and expect a few more wheat and then canola deliveries in the Geraldton zone in the coming 10 days and possibly a few deliveries in the Esperance zone this week too,” he said. “We should see growers in the full swing of harvest by mid-November.”
Tutt said it was not unusual to see deliveries this early in the season and due to the lack of rain and dry conditions experienced around the state, sites in the north of the Geraldton zone have been on standby to begin receivals for the past week.
“It was a dry opening to seeding this year and then the state was fortunate enough to have a reasonable June in most areas which provided a decent amount of subsoil moisture. However, this was followed by one of the coldest and driest Julys on record which hampered crop growth in many areas,” he said.
“We then experienced below average rainfall in August which led to a downward revision of our estimated receivals to below 10 million tonnes, compared with the record 15 million tonnes delivered last harvest.
“An average season in WA is usually around 10 million tonnes and this year we are now estimating 9.1-9.3 million tonnes of receivals. Some good rains in September have ensured the yields and those estimates should be maintained.”
The current estimates for this harvest per port zone are as follows;
• Geraldton            1.5 million tonnes
• Kwinana              4 million tonnes
• Albany                  2.1 million tonnes
• Esperance          1.55 million tonnes
Total                     9.1-9.3 million tonnes
Tutt noted that along with the smaller crop, the harvesting period would more than likely reduce and growers were urged to be patient at receival sites to ensure everyone stays safe throughout the busy harvest period.