Growers reassured over grain dryer

27 May, 2013 02:00 AM
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West River grower and GIWA Barley Council representative Andrew Duncan said if maximum temperatures were abided by there would be no issue for the Australian barley industry with regard to dry Malt barley tonnes during the 2013/14 season.
West River grower and GIWA Barley Council representative Andrew Duncan said if maximum temperatures were abided by there would be no issue for the Australian barley industry with regard to dry Malt barley tonnes during the 2013/14 season.

OUTRAGED South Coast growers have been reassured that they will be allowed to use grain dryers on this year's Malt barley crop.

The call to potentially ban drying of Malt barley was part of a proposal released by Grain Trade Australia (GTA).

But Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) chairman Jon Slee confirmed the potential GTA changes weren't even on the review agenda in WA.

He took the opportunity to remind growers GIWA, not GTA, set WA's grain standards and GIWA's Barley Council was unsupportive of GTA's proposed changes.

"Even if the GTA's proposed change comes into play it won't effect what WA barley growers are doing on-farm," Mr Slee said.

"In South Coastal areas growers absolutely need to use grain dryers but they need to be used with caution."

Wider industry feedback also suggested GTA's proposal to ban the use of grain dryers on Malt barley tonnes had been met with widespread condemnation.

GTA chief executive officer Geoff Honey said there were a number of points to remember before getting worked up about the potential change.

"All it is is a proposal and the document we put out was calling for submissions on not just drying Malt Barley but on a wide variety of topics including varietal classifications, test weights and definitions," he said.

"The issue of drying Malt barley isn't insignificant but in terms of the number of things under consideration it's just one of many on the list."

Mr Honey said the issue was raised by Eastern States storage accumulators and GTA had already received a substantial amount of submissions from WA growers and grower groups against the banning of grain dryers on Malt barley tonnes.

The submissions would now be collated, read and decided on by GTA's standards committee.

GIWA Barley Council chairman Steve Tilbrook said grain drying was a routine practice used world-wide to manage moisture and was very effective provided the temperature and method used for drying were correctly applied.

He said the GTA's proposed change, if passed, would likely have a major impact on growers and their ability to supply Malt barley from all the higher rainfall areas of Australia as well as areas that were subject to harvest rainfall or coastal humidity at harvest.

GIWA's Barley Council believed the production of Malt barley in the southern parts of Australia would probably stop if the grain dryer ban was put into practice.

It welcomed the opportunity to work with GTA in communicating with growers on the best practice for grain drying Malt barley to ensure optimal grain quality was maintained.

GTA first floated the potential standard change in a bid to reduce the number of Malt grade barley tonnes delivered to bulk delivery sites at harvest which were then unable to perform satisfactorily in malt houses due to the germ having been killed off during the grain drying process.

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