Going against the grain not as easy as it seems

Claire TyrrellCountryman

Toodyay farmer Joe Candeloro says on-farm storage can be beneficial but is not the panacea to grain logistics.

Joe has more than 33,000 tonnes of grain storage capacity on-farm and sells about two-thirds of his grain domestically.

He said growers should not underestimate the value of CBH's storage and handling systems.

"CBH is still a good option," Joe said.

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"A lot of farmers don't realise that because they haven't gone down the path (of on-farm storage) as much as I have.

"Farmers have got to realise that it's very simple to go to CBH, drop your load in the grid and almost forget about it.

"When you've got your own grain storage, you are continuously working with the grain."

Joe said the costs involved in on-farm grain storage were considerable because growers needed to constantly monitor their silos.

He described his on-farm storage facilities as "a tool to fight" against the mainstream but said he could "never completely bypass CBH".

"In the last six weeks, it certainly paid to keep my grain on-farm," Joe said. "Who was to know there would be a massive drought in America and grief in other countries?

"If the price is not right I tend to hold onto my grain. It is a gamble but that is the way I intend to go - I am not going to give it away."

This year Joe put in 9500 hectares of crop and is working with very little soil moisture. He said it was still too early to tell whether he would fill his storage this harvest.

Any grain that Joe cannot sell domestically is stored at CBH and sold on the export market.

Joe said he intended to enter the sea container trade in the next few years to take full advantage of his on-farm storage system.

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