GrainCorp has received the highest daily volume of grain in its history due to this year’s bumper winter harvest

Davies

Grain pouring into a large pile at a grain receival site

GrainCorp has received the highest daily volume of grain in its history due to this year’s bumper winter harvest.

Key points:

  • GrainCorp has recorded its highest daily volume of grain
  • More than 360,000 tonnes was received on Wednesday
  • The company is adding extra capacity at its receival sites

More than 360,000 tonnes were delivered to its sites across Australia on Wednesday.

“That’s the biggest receival day GrainCorp has had in history,” GrainCorp’s general manager of operations, Nigel Lotz, said.

“We knew it was going to be big (but) it’s always difficult to determine how big,” he said.

Widespread rain in the second half of 2020 helped produce the first winter crops in three years in parts of NSW.

Mr Lotz said more than 5 million tonnes of grain had been received at GrainCorp’s sites in NSW, Queensland and Victoria since the winter harvest began, and he expected that figure to top 12 million tonnes by the end of harvest.

John Medcalf, who farms at Tottenham in central western NSW, stripped his biggest harvest in almost 40 years.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime … harvest we’re having this year,” he said.

“Your average out in these areas over the years has been half-a-tonne to the acre but new varieties and that sort of thing, you’ll reap the benefits.”

Dozens of trucks full of grain line up under a hazy sky.

Trucks waiting to deliver grain at GrainCorp’s Coonamble site in Central West NSW.(Supplied: Emma Nalder)

Bumper to bumper after bumper harvest

Outside some of GrainCorp’s sites in NSW, trucks have lined up waiting to deliver grain.

The company’s site at Nevertire had to close for one day because it was full, while others have been close to capacity.

Trangie farmer Kevin Flinn had grain waiting in trucks to be delivered to a receival site.

“This season is something I don’t think we’ve ever seen around here before,” he said.

“You can’t complain about the time it’s taking to get your grain delivered, you just get on and do it.”

 

Drone photo of grain being harvested

NSW farmers are harvesting huge grain crops following above-average rainfall this year.(ABC: Mark Bennett)

 

Mr Lotz said GrainCorp had put contingency measures in place and the company was cycling in and out trains to freight the grain, had added extra storage at eight sites and would open additional facilities to take the overflow.

“It’s very challenging, the grain is coming in very fast,” he said.

“We have had a three-pronged plan on how we handle it and we’ve obviously got our base sites and then we’ve got an overflow program.

“It is a great year so we’re doing our best to get as much grain into the system as possible.”

An elderly man in a blue shirt sits in the cabin of his farm buggie next to a kelpie dog

Tottenham farmer John Medcalf says some people may have to store their grain themselves.(ABC Central West: Donal Sheil)

Farmers prepared to store grain

Mr Medcalf said some farmers might have to store grain on their properties until it could be collected.

“The one thing about wheat and grain is if it’s put on the ground properly and it’s peaked, it’s amazing how it crusts itself and the water will sort of run off it.”

Mr Lotz said it was important for storage processes to meet industry standards.

“We do have to be careful,” Mr Lotz said.

“We need to make the storages to a standard (because) ultimately we’re responsible for the (outgoing) grain.”

GrainCorp urged farmers to speak directly with their local receival site manager.

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