Sunday rain no help or hinder for WA grain growers, but may downgrade hay quality

Headshot of Shannon Verhagen
Harvest on a WA farm.
Camera IconHarvest on a WA farm. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman

WA growers are working through a slow start to harvest, with just under 200,000t received across CBH’s receival network since the first delivery was made on September 27.

Widespread falls of 10-30mm across much of the grain-growing regions and up to 70mm in the Albany Port Zone on Sunday also pressed pause on headers and chaser bins for those in the throes of harvesting.

CBH Group chief operations officer Mick Daw said it would be the “perfect finishing rain” for many growers, who are anticipated to deliver a bin-bursting 23.47Mt this harvest.

Heaviest falls were recorded south of the Great Eastern Highway, with growers in Wellstead (68.4mm), Gnowangerup (63.2mm), and Kojaneerup South (60mm), Dumbleyung (52.6mm) and Manypeaks (52.2mm) tipping the most out of their gauges.

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Agronomist Michael Lamond said it would likely not help or hinder growers, bar downgrading some hay quality for growers mid-baling when it fell.

“Most crops were still in the last throes of ripening south of the Great Eastern Highway, so in most of those cases there’ll be no damage, but also no benefit,” he said.

“Some of the late crops could still benefit on country where they were still green and filling.

“It’ll be a case-by-case basis, paddock by paddock basis where there could be still some benefit.”

It will delay what has already been a slow start to harvest, he said.

“It’s a really slow, unusual finish and it’s just going to delay it a bit,” Mr Lamond said.

“It’s probably going to be annoying more than anything.”

So far, just under 200,000 tonnes of grain has been delivered across CBH’s receival network, most of which has been received in the Geraldton Port Zone (116,361t).

Rainfall Totals Oct 22-24

Allanooka – 9.4mm

Bencubbin – 16.8mm

Bindoon – 15.2mm

Dandaragan East – 21.2mm

Dumbleyung – 52.6mm

Frankland River – 28mm

Gnowangerup – 63.2mm

Hyden – 41.8mm

Jerramungup – 20.2mm

Katanning – 49.6mm

Munglinup – 31.2mm

Narembeen – 30.8mm

Narrogin – 27.2mm

Newdegate – 33mm

Salmon Gums – 12.8mm

Wellstead – 68.4mm

Yilgarn – 40.8mm

Harvest stats (as at Tuesday October 25):

- Albany: 1,049 tonnes

- Esperance: 37,249 tonnes

- Geraldton: 126,055 tonnes

- Kwinana North: 44,342 tonnes

- Kwinana South: 5,803 tonnes

o Total: 214,498 tonnes

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