APW1 segregation permanent

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Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
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CBH will introduce APW1 segregation on a permanent basis from the coming harvest and will phase out the APW2 grade from the 2016-2017 season.

CBH general manager of operations David Capper said the permanent introduction of APW1, with a minimum protein of 10.5 per cent, would better meet market requirements.

"It is important WA is established as a consistent and reliable supplier of APW1 as customers are calling for wheat with a minimum of 10.5 per cent protein," he said.

Mr Capper said the planned permanent introduction of APW1 was in step with the rest of Australia.

The APW1 grade was introduced in WA last year on a trial basis and received positive feedback.

However, although the trial was popular with growers and customers, operationally it was difficult for CBH to provide both the APW1 and APW2 (minimum protein of 10 per cent) segregation services across the State.

He said in most years, the majority of wheat delivered in WA would meet the APW1 grade.

"It would be in a year when there was a soft finish, that protein may be considerably lower," he said.

"In such an instance, CBH could re-introduce the APW2 grade for that harvest."

Mr Capper said although the APW1 segregation last harvest was not optimisable given it was in the trial phase, from this year full optimisation would be available across APW1, APW2 and ASW to allow growers full flexibility to manage their wheat quality.

APW1 will also be fully optimisable with ASW in future years.

He said from the 2016-2017 harvest, APW loads that had below 10.5 per cent protein would be graded as ASW.

Although the premium paid for APW2 over ASW fluctuates, it is generally about $5-$10 a tonne.

Minnivale farmer Andrew Todd, who is also CBH Grower Advisory Council chairman, welcomed the move.

He said it sent a clear message to growers about the required protein levels and would encourage farmers to manage their nitrogen levels, which impacted on protein.

"If growers know they need to be targeting 10.5 per cent protein rather than 10 per cent, they can manage their inputs accordingly," he said.

Mr Todd did not feel growers would be disadvantaged by the lack of an APW2 category, because the reason for the change was demand driven.

Meanwhile, Mr Capper said WA growers were still on track for a 13 million tonne harvest after huge rains several weeks ago which changed the course of the season.

Small top-up rains last weekend and earlier this week were also welcome.

"We had warm weather over the weekend which would have used up a lot of moisture," Mr Capper said.

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