High moisture wheat trial needs support

24 Nov, 2004 10:00 PM
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SOUTH Coast wheatgrowers are being urged to get behind a trial for receivals of high moisture wheat this harvest.

AWB Ltd, Co-operative Bulk Handling, the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA) and members of the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group (FBG) are supporting the trial, which will see up to 40,000 tonnes of APW/ASW wheat received at up to 13.5 per cent moisture at the Esperance and Gairdner bins.

SEPWA president Peter Roberts said it was crucial growers supported the trial by delivering as much grain as possible to the trial sites.

"Growers in these regions are well aware of the potential benefits of having the ability to harvest and deliver higher moisture wheat," Mr Roberts said.

"For the trial to have any chance of being introduced as a standard practice, we need to evaluate the ability of the supply chain to manage it and outturn it at an acceptable quality standard, and for the market to be comfortable with the final product.

"But most importantly, we need to demonstrate to AWB and CBH that growers do really want this to happen, and the best way we can do that is to make sure the stacks are full."

AWB state manager Paul Ryan said AWB had confidence in CBH being able to manage higher moisture wheat receivals on the WA south coast.

"Our experience in other parts of Australia is that these types of receivals can be effectively managed to the overall benefit of the quality profile of the National Pool," Mr Ryan said.

CBH operations general manager Colin Tutt said CBH had invested around $10 million to provide more than 800,000t of aerated storage throughout the Esperance and Albany zones since 2002.

"Growers in this area constantly experience moist harvesting conditions and are having to adjust their harvesting strategies to better manage these conditions," Mr Tutt said.

"CBH is encouraged by this trial and has always been strongly committed to providing services to help growers manage high moisture grain in order to grow value for their product."

Growers who deliver wheat above 12.5pc moisture will be deducted the Golden Rewards discounts up to 13.5pc.

CBH aeration storage charges will also apply, with the aim to receive grain as close to the 13.5pc limit as possible.

Additional charges may also apply if the grain needs to be dried prior to outturn.

Mr Roberts said the cost of aerating wheat at higher moisture compared favourably to drying, but the time saving from delivering direct to the receival point was the most critical advantage of the trial.

"The objective here is to give farmers an increased window of opportunity to carry out their harvest operations, reducing the likelihood of weather damage and improving the value of the product we provide our international customers," he said.

"I hope all farmers in the region get behind this strategy so we can manage what is an ongoing problem for those of us on the south coast."

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