Grain forecast drops in GIWA October crop report as harvest begins in the Albany Zone

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithGreat Southern Herald
The first load of grain delivered in the Albany Zone to CBH's Lake Grace site.
Camera IconThe first load of grain delivered in the Albany Zone to CBH's Lake Grace site. Credit: Supplied

The Grain Industry Association of WA has released its first crop report since the region’s grain harvest started, and the outlook is relatively positive for the Albany Zone, except for some late frost in the south.

The October report — the last before harvest reaches full swing — has the Albany Zone tipped to produce 3.3 million tonnes, which is just over a quarter of the State’s anticipated total of just under 13m tonnes.

GIWA’s Statewide grain harvest forecast for October slashed 10.5 per cent from an estimate of 14.5m tonnes released a month earlier.

The downgrade since last month is worth about $450m at current grain prices — a forecast markedly lower than the the five-year average of 15.29m tonnes.

The first load of grain delivered in the Albany Zone was a load of barley to the CBH Lake Grace site on Friday.

Report author Michael Lamond said it was still too early to assess the quality of the grain.

In the west of the Albany Zone, he said most growers were expecting an above-average year even with the lack of spring rain.

“There are a few poorer holes in the region around Darkan and West Arthur, although for the most part the region will be above average for all grains,” he said.

“These southern areas have not had the warm weather from further north and have been able to use every drop of rain that has fallen this year.

“In this region there was a lack of waterlogging and many crops established earlier than normal so have been able to utilise the full growing season.”

The south of the zone is thought to be the most affected by a frost event, particularly crops in the South Stirlings area.

The east of the Albany Zone (Lakes region) is expected to have a return to average yields, except for some very poor areas south and east of Lake Grace, and north-east between Hyden and Lake Grace.

In 2018 and 2019, the Albany Zone produced about 3.2m tonnes of grain.

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