Early harvest runs smooth

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerThe West Australian

Harvest has gone smoothly for the Liddelow family of Williams, after a relatively early start and decent yields and quality.

Dylan Liddelow, who farms with wife Emma and parents Brian and Janette, operates at Williams and a lease block in Arthur River with a total of 1700ha being cropped to canola, barley, wheat and oats.

Their harvest started at Williams on November 1, relatively early compared with the rest of the district and about three days earlier than last year after an average rainfall season of 420mm.

The Liddelows were fortunate to avoid the widespread heavy rains that soaked many WA areas last week.

A 3mm sprinkling of rain last Friday caused a short stop, but activity is now back in full swing.

Mr Liddelow said the canola harvest at Williams was now complete, yielding averages of 1.8-1.9t/ha with oil content of between 46 and 47 per cent.

"The yield is down a little on last year, but decent nonetheless," he said.

He started harvesting barley earlier this week and on Tuesday was 80ha into the 550ha program.

Barley yields have been between 4 and 5t/ha, with all so far being of malt grade quality.

"Yields so far for canola and barley are slightly down on last year but we still consider them excellent and are very happy with how the harvest is going," he said.

Mr Liddelow expects to finish harvesting around mid-December.

According to CBH, the rain across WA early last week brought the State's harvest to a near standstill, as well as causing further damage to some crops in isolated areas.

However, in most areas, harvest was getting back into full swing earlier this week and as of Tuesday, 5.76m tonnes had been delivered to CBH receival points, meaning this year's harvest was now about 40 per cent complete.

CBH Kwinana zone manager Gavin Bignell said yields so far in the Kwinana zone had been below expectations, with the majority of crops delivering at least 200kg/ha less than initially expected.

"Quality has been good in the Kwinana zone to date, and as yet we have only seen a small amount of weather-damaged or sprouted grains," Mr Bignell said.

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