Carryover grain clogs system

Haidee VandenbergheCountryman

CBH has conceded a backlog of last season's grain is holding up the receival of this year's harvest, with some receival points still full of old season grain.

CBH operations manager David Capper said the grain handler went into the start of this harvest with three million tonnes of grain held over. There's still another 2.3 million tonnes in CBH's system, but Mr Capper said the grain handler would simply have to hang on to it until its owner was ready to ship it out.

"There is a lot of grain sitting around but the 15 million tonne crop was always going to result in a lot of carryover, even though CBH set an all time 12-month shipping record in 2012," he said.

There is about 430,000t of old season grain sitting in the Albany port zone and two sites - Moulyinning and Kuringup - aren't planning to be open due to the carryover.

Mr Capper said another 30 sites in the Albany port zone were carrying 2012 grain, while Karlgarin would not be offering a canola service due to carryover.

"Regardless of the carryover, unfortunately in years like this there will be sites that don't open," Mr Capper said. "It's not efficient to open 20 million tonnes of storage to handle an 8.5 million tonne crop.

"While someone is unfortunately going to be disadvantaged by decisions to not open sites or individual services, we do our best to minimise that as much as possible. We always try to select sites where growers have the opportunity to cart forward with freight to sites which provide a wide range of services."

However, Albany port is expecting higher than usual shipping throughout November and December, meaning CBH will have to reopen sites to outload grain.

"It may cause disruptions to growers," Mr Capper said. "We will do our best to avoid sites where harvest deliveries are greatly impacted by outloading and try where possible to access sites at night to avoid disrupting growers delivering this year's crop."

Across the State, 1.76 million tonnes had been received by Tuesday, with estimates putting Esperance nearly a third of the way through harvest with 518,760 tonnes received.

Geraldton was estimated to be 45 to 50 per cent finished with 670,645t, Kwinana 10 per cent of the way through with 441,000t and Albany having delivered just 5 to 10 per cent - or 127,130t - of crop.

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