Carnamah crops outstanding

Claire TyrrellCountryman
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Grading grain has become part of the routine for Quentin Perry this harvest.

Quentin, who farms on a 6000-hectare property east of Carnamah with his parents, Neil and Karen, said high screenings were an issue this harvest, with some wheat varieties more affected than others.

Quentin graded most of his grain in the paddock to optimise the quality of his deliveries.

“We’ve put most of our wheat through a grader to get screenings below 5 per cent,” he said.

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“It takes all the smaller grain out to get it down under 5 per cent, so it can be delivered as a higher paid grade.”

Quentin received just 165mm of rain this season, more than 100mm short of average.

He said yields were less than he usually got, but the price of grain meant he would get decent financial returns.

Though the grading process had slowed his harvest considerably, the price Quentin received for quality grain made it worthwhile.

“The grader processes about 30 tonnes an hour, so it slows things down a bit when the header catches up,” he said.

“It is definitely worth it — wheat going from GP to APW2 is $25 a tonne difference in payment, then you get rewards for high protein levels and low screenings.”

Quentin said results were mixed across the program, but results were better than he expected.

“There is more yield than we first thought,” he said.

“We need about 1.2 tonnes per hectare to cover cost, but we are just over 1.5 tonnes.

“Magenta is the highest yielding by a fair margin, but it also had high screenings — up to 12 per cent.”

Quentin said Wyalkatchem and Carnamah both yielded about 1.5 tonnes, with screenings around 7 per cent.

The Perrys run a mixed operation, including 1100 breeding ewes.

Quentin said the small grain from the grader would be kept for sheep feed.

He started harvesting in late October and expected to finish this week.

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