WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The 2011-12 harvest is now underway with the first delivery of 52 tonnes of canola made to the CBH Group's Geraldton Terminal on Oct. 7, CBH said on Oct. 10.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said this season continues to shape up as potentially the second biggest ever in Western Australia, a far cry from last year's well below average harvest.

"There is still a way to go before the crop is in the bin but as long as the rain eases enough for the crop to dry out and the frost holds off, it could certainly be a 12 million tonne-plus crop this year," Tutt said. "The Geraldton zone continues to look like the standout with conditions on track for a record harvest of around 3 million tonnes. The previous record was set at 2.6 million tonnes for the Geraldton zone set in 2003-04.

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

The current estimate for this harvest is now just above the 12.5 million tonnes mark with estimates per port zone as follows;

· Geraldton, 3 million tonnes

· Kwinana, 5.9 million tonnes

· Albany, 2.3 million tonnes

· Esperance, 1.4 million tonnes

Tutt noted that with an estimated crop as large as this one some logistical challenges are to be expected and growers are being urged to be patient at receival sites to ensure everyone stays safe throughout the busy harvest period.