WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — CBH said on Dec. 12 that the period leading up to Christmas will be particularly challenging this harvest as sites fill up and impacts of the latest rain delays are realized.

Last week’s significant rainfall, which caused disruption to harvest, has allowed grain to be moved around into better positions to assist in keeping sites functional and available for deliveries, CBH said. However, sites are continuing to fill rapidly and some segregations will inevitably close.

To date around 68% of the state’s estimated tonnages have been received.

Geraldton Zone has seen another strong week with 450,000 tonnes received into the system. The zone is currently sitting at 2.85 million tonnes, some 400,000 tonnes away from the estimate of 3.2 million.

Geraldton Zone Manager Duncan Gray said growers are starting to finish their programs and CBH storages and grids are nearing capacity.

“Again I encourage all growers and contractors to be patient as we work very hard to receive in the last 400,000 tonnes,” Gray said. “We are reliant on shipping program to survive in port but I am confident that we will deliver the service that is expected of CBH as we have done all season. We have sites filled to capacity, less grids, and a lot more Drive Over Grids (DOGS) getting utilized which makes it challenging for some, but we are doing our very best to get the grain into the bin.”

The Kwinana zone received significant rainfall across most of the zone with only the north western corner escaping the larger falls.

Kwinana Zone manager Brett Jeffrey said many areas received between 20 and 100 mm, which reduced receivals to only 800,000 tonnes this past week.

“We are now almost at 65% of our estimated tonnage so still have some 2.5 million tonnes to receive which with the additional rain is going to need growers continued patience and support as we maximize our available storage space to ensure we can get all grain in the bin,” Jeffrey said. “Sites will move back to load by load testing for Falling Numbers until we are comfortable with the possible changes after the rain and with that site times may increase slightly again.”

Jeffrey said growers will also be aware that sites are filling rapidly and segregations at some sites will close.

“The rain break has given us some opportunity to move grain around into better positions to assist us keeping sites functional and we are working as hard as we can to keep all primary sites and most secondary sites open, however it is inevitable that growers will have to cart further as some sites and segregations fill and close,” he said. “We will also be filling emergency storage with slingers and DOGS and will require grower understanding and patience as we fill them.”

Jeffrey said the text message system will be used extensively to keep growers informed of changes at sites and possible closures.

"I would encourage grower’s transporters that are not already on the text service to call and register their number for that service by contacting either the Merredin or Avon offices,” Jeffrey said.

Last week was a very disappointing and frustrating week for growers in the Albany Zone with rainfall ranging from 15 to 115 mm throughout the zone, CBH said.

Greg Thornton, CBH Albany Zone Manager, said only 100,000 tonnes of grain was received for the week bringing the zone total to 1.27 million tonnes which is half of total receivals expected.

“Any effect on quality will not be able to be fully determined until harvest recommences, however, a number of general purpose and feed segregations are being introduced to cater for downgraded grain,” Thornton said. “Falling Number machines have now been set up at the majority of sites and testing will be load by load until quality profiles of stacks can be determined following the rain. Additional road transport services have also been engaged to consolidate stacks between sites to create space for the introduction of additional segregations as required.”

The Esperance Zone only received about 200,000 tonnes last week of which the majority was delivered early in the week prior to substantial rainfall across the zone.

Esperance Zone Manager Mick Daw said the rain started on Tuesday and continued for the rest of the week.

“While all parts of the Zone received some rainfall some areas have reported over 100 mm of rain,” he said. “This has put a stop to harvest although we are still taking deliveries from growers who have grain stored on farm.”

To date the Esperance Zone has received 1.13 million tonnes which is about 75% of the estimate tonnages this harvest.

“With a good run of weather most growers will finish within a week although there is a quantity of grain that will be slow to be received given the current weather problems,” he said.