Hectolitre headache with frosted grains

19 Dec, 2016 02:00 AM
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Tony Seabrook with the frosted barley grain that he has been unable to sell.
Never in my life have I grown a crop that wasn't deliverable - it had a 4-5t/ha potential.
Tony Seabrook with the frosted barley grain that he has been unable to sell.

YORK grower Tony Seabrook has a bitter pill to swallow as up to 25 per cent of his barley looks the part but is well below the weight cut-off for delivery.

Of Tony's 265 hectare Hindmarsh crop, 75pc went through as feed but hectolitre weights of between 46-48 kilograms per hectolitre meant that about 120-130 tonnes of his grain was undeliverable to CBH as it did not meet the feed barley 56kg/hl cut off.

"Never in my life have I grown a crop that wasn't deliverable - it had a 4-5 tonnes per hectare potential," he said.

"When you consider the same frost that took the barley out covered the wheat and the wheat is all deliverable with under 2pc screenings, it's disappointing.

"Nobody wants it and I have been told anecdotally by buyers that others are trying to sell barley with weights of 33-36kg/hl.

"The frost has washed the feed quality right out of it and it's very hard to fatten animals on barley with a hectolitre weight in the 30s and low 40s.

"It's hard to walk away and leave a crop standing but the feed value is so low and then to harvest it and put it in storage and if no one wants it - over time I guess we'll find a home for it."

Mr Seabrook said a lot of growers in the York area were experiencing problems with low weight grains.

"At the York bin there is so much segregation within the barley and it's occupying a lot of space, it's a challenge," he said.

"A lot of people were surprised about how severe the frost damage has been around York.

"A lot of people think it has been just further east but anecdotally the temperatures around here got down to minus five and minus seven degrees and there was a number of them over quite a period of time - that is what did it.

"It is tough, particularly on a year when prices aren't that flash – a lot of people are very close to the cost of production and if you couple low price and low yields together it's a double whammy."

The family's wheat crop has also been affected by frost.

In one 130 hectare block , their harvester's yield map showed yields varying from below 0.5t/ha up to 8t/ha in some spots.

FarmWeekly

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COMMENTS

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Well done Steve,it is easy to see why Purchers have been so successful over 5 decades
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Reality of supply and demand. I remember many oat marketers including CBH saying while they were
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At a $114 per tonne i feel like we have been bent over & abused .They went out of their way to