High grain yields cause market low

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser

Farmers across the Great Southern have shared in the State’s record grain harvest this season, however, high yields across the globe are putting downward pressure on grain prices.

The Cooperative Bulk Handling Albany zone took in 3.09 million tonnes of the Statewide record of 16.616 million tonnes of grain during the 2016-2017 harvest, which officially closed at the end of January.

This year’s harvest in the Albany zone represents a 16 per cent increase on the 2.67 million tonnes collected in 2015-2016.

The high yields experienced this season are not isolated to WA, which has resulted in a global over-supply of some grain types.

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A CBH spokeswoman said the oversupply had depressed market prices and this low would likely last for at least another six months.

Acting Albany zone manager Claire Teale said CBH was very pleased to see such high grain tonnage arriving at its sites.

Ms Teale said the 3 million tonnes was a great result for growers in the region, considering how much crop was affected by frost and rain during the winter.

“Harvest was very good with little to no rain, which meant farmers could keep going with no loss of quality,” she said.

“We have seen very high quality grain delivered across the board this season.”

The 2016-2017 harvest was also a season of firsts for CBH’s Albany zone, with the opening of the Mirimbeena facility and the introduction of a direct-to-vessel rebate scheme which rewards farmers for delivering grain straight to a waiting ship at specific times during harvest.

The Mirimbeena facility on Down Road took 110,000 tonne of grain directly and a further 40,000 tonnes transferred from smaller sites. Ms Teale said the addition of Mirimbeena had been embraced by farmers and plans to expand the capacity in time for next harvest were being carried out.

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