CO-OPERTATIVE Bulk Handling and the Grain Pool of WA plan to install aeration facilities at up to 20 sites on the south coast of the WA grainbelt this season.
The aeration strategy is part of a plan to equip CBH to receive a 15-million tonne harvest in just 21 working days by the year 2005.
"Partnering the Grain Pool in this strategy has meant we are able to focus on the overall financial benefit of aeration to growers including market premiums, and not just the costs of constructing the facilities," CBH chief exeecutive officer Imre Mencshelyi said.
"This is just one of the benefits growers will experience in the very near future as a result of the merger.
"A joint CBH-Grain Pool team has identified the receival points that would deliver most advantage to growers from aerated storage, the infrastructure required and the costs to construct and install.
"One of our major deliberations has been whether to construct aeration facilities in all storages at selected sites or to partially aerate as many sites as possible.
"Complete aeration of sites would provide CBH with greater logistical flexibility, however we have taken the view that aeration facilities should be made available to as many growers as possible, and only select storages will be aerated at those sites.
"Aeration will considerably lengthen the harvesting window for growers along the south coast, and will also improve their returns as they will be able to deliver grain in better condition."
Mr Mencshelyi said the aeration facilities would be modular, enabling storages to be aerated whenever and wherever necessary.
"This design has been formulated by the joint CBH-Grain Pool team, in conjunction with the Stored Grain Research Laboratory (SGRL) and will provide us with a significant level of flexibility," he said.
"The team is also finalising the principles of the charging structure, as a result of a CBH review and direct consultation with growers.
"Although the details and prices are not yet finalised, I can assure growers they will represent excellent value for service."
CBH has also been working closely with the Grain Pool and the SGRL on a trial to receive 2000t of grain with moisture levels in excess of 14pc.
The purpose of the trial will be to extend the research into the preservation of barley quality with high moisture. The location of the trial has not yet been determined.
CBH's intention to implement an aeration strategy was announced in mid-January.