York and the Avon region were among the few that finished the 2007-08 harvest with average or better production.

CBH manager of grain operations, Colin Tutt, said that by December 24, York and the Avon grain terminals had received all time record tonnages. York had received 112,000 tonnes compared with a total of 49,000 in 2006-07. This had been brought about by a combination of above average yields and changes to receival points.

Tonnages received at the York and Avon terminals had been boosted by grain that would normally have been delivered to the metro grain centre at Kewdale and limited receivals at several smaller bins like Greenhills that were being phased out. The metro grain centre had accepted much less grain due to its focus on filling containers for export, Mr Tutt said.

Most crops had produced above average yields in the Avon region and there had been big increases in the quantities of barley and canola delivered in the region.  Oil content of canola had been very high but receivals state wide were down because of the drought in the northern and eastern agricultural areas, he said.

CBH expected to receive about 8.4million tonnes of grain for 2007-08, down on the state average of 11.3million tonnes and well down on the company’s 17million tonne capacity.

Up to the time of the heavy rain in mid December, the quality of the grain received was very good. There had been a few issues with protein levels in wheat and barley but these would not seriously affect the value or market for these grains because of nationwide shortages. “We can sell every grain we receive,” Mr Tutt said.

The rain had delayed the finish of harvest by a week or 10 days. There were about 400,000 tonnes to come. Big quantities were still flowing in to bins in places like Cranbrook where 6,000 tonnes were received on the Sunday before Christmas, he said.

Lindsay McNeill

Michael Hooper harvesting a 1.4 tonne canola crop east of York late November last year.