Wet conditions delay deliveries

Jo Fulwood and Corrina RidgwayThe West Australian
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Harvest has begun in all port zones, but recent wet weather has hampered delivery efforts over the past week.

CBH Geraldton zone manager Duncan Gray said he hoped farmers would now be back on their harvesters again, with predicted warm and dry conditions throughout the zone in the coming days.

He said 21,000 tonnes had been delivered in the Geraldton port zone so far this season, which was significantly behind delivery results at this time last year.

Mr Gray said the new Eyefoss image analysis machine was working well at the Yuna receival site.

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"The biggest question with our sampling procedures has been the subjectivity of the sampler to count grains for fungal stains, and sprouting. The Eyefoss machine takes away the conjecture regarding a personal decision on these issues," he said.

Mr Gray said so far only Northampton, Yuna, Binnu, Mingenew and Carnamah receival sites were open, but he hoped more would open this coming week.

Esperance region has so far received 110,000t through CBH.

According to CBH Esperance zone manager Mick Daw, 75,000t of canola and 40,000t of barley have been delivered to seven of 13 receival points.

"Chadwick is pretty much up and running - there is one run of bitumen to lay, the bulkhead conveyor is going in now and the bulkhead I expect will be finished by the end of next week," he said.

All refurbishment at the Beaumont bin has been finalised.

Cascade works are two to three weeks from finalisation, due to rain delaying bitumen works.

Mr Daw expects the effects of the hiatus to also hit in two to three weeks time, based on weather and receivals to date.

About 5.5 million tonnes are expected to be delivered in Kwinana zone, and CBH zone manager Brett Jeffrey said emergency storage was almost complete in the zone's south.

"We've also upgraded storage capacity at many sites throughout the zone and, combined with the heavy harvest shipping program, we are confident that we can handle this harvest tonnage," he said.

Mr Jeffrey said the zone was running about 10 days behind previous harvest programs.

Last week, Kwinana zone received its first few hundred tonnes of grain delivered to the MGC, Avon, Moora and McLevie sites.

"With some fine weather we anticipate we will get most sites receiving within the coming few weeks. We think it will all start very quickly," Mr Jeffrey said.

In the Albany zone, up to 40 mm was received over the weekend, putting harvest efforts on hold for several days.

Zone manager Greg Thornton said only 300t of canola had been received so far into the Albany port and Gairdner receival site.

The Borden site is the only other site open so far. "We will open up further bins as people get in touch with us," Mr Thornton said.

Between 12.7 million tonnes and 13 million tonnes are expected to be harvested across the State this season.

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