Rain at the wrong time delays harvest from cranking up around the Albany Zone

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Shannon SmithGreat Southern Herald
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A wheat crop near ready to harvest.
Camera IconA wheat crop near ready to harvest. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Rain is delaying harvest in the Albany zone, with unseasonable conditions stopping it getting into full swing.

The latest CBH harvest report released last Friday said the zone had delivered just 140,000 tonnes to CBH sites so far.

After CBH received 2.7 million tonnes of grain in the Albany zone last year, the Grain Industry Association of WA’s October forecast tipped the zone to produce 3.3m tonnes this season.

Harvest for the zone started more than three weeks ago, but CBH reported that widespread rainfall had slowed deliveries.

Katanning received 20mm of rain on Monday, after receiving more than 25mm at the start of the previous week.

The Weather Bureau was forecasting more rain for the area tomorrow.

Woodanilling farmer Rick Wise said he had 17mm on Monday, with more drizzle on Tuesday.

“We got to harvest for another day and a half and then we got stopped again,” he said.

“It is frustrating but we are using the opportunity to get other things done.”

CBH chief operations officer Ben Macnamara said isolated thunderstorms over parts of the grainbelt overnight would cause further interruptions.

“Wet weather has been creating challenging conditions for growers, many of whom were just starting to ramp up their harvest programs,” he said.

“Last year we experienced a relatively dry, uninterrupted harvest which allowed us to receive the Western Australian crop in a short amount of time.

“This year, we’ve already seen two rain events halt activity.

“With more rain forecast early next week, further interruptions are likely which will continue to impact the pace of harvest deliveries.”

The Statewide total was 1.9m tonnes at the time of the harvest report release.

Barley has made up the most of the zone’s deliveries.

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