Tough harvest gets under way

31 Oct, 2000 03:00 PM

EARLY grain receivals into northern CBH bins already have confirmed that this is going to be a tough harvest. Receival points in the Geraldton district opened the curtain on this year's harvest two weeks ago and have set early trends for the harvest. About 60 to 70 per cent of all barley receivals is going into the Feed segregation, despite the Grain Pool of WA's relaxed receival standards on screenings. While lupin quality is good, yields are well down. As expected, canola oil content is lower than market requirements of 42pc but the majority is making Standard 1 (oil content between 38pc and 41.5pc). Wheat is now trickling in and again, as expected, high screenings and high protein are the order of the day. AWB Ltd has introduced a Utility Hard stack with a higher screenings limit of 15pc compared to 10pc for GP1. At this stage, this service is available at Geraldton and Yuna. As Farm Weekly went to press, more than 110,000 tonnes of all grain had been received in the Geraldton district with officials forecasting a 30pc fall on last year's record levels. Geraldton had recorded the highest receivals with 47,532t of grain delivered, followed by Binnu (9534t), Mullewa (3383t) and Morawa (2658t). This week, more CBH bins were due to open in the Morawa, Wongan Hills, Koorda, Avon, Merredin, Corrigin and Lake Grace districts. Meanwhile, AWB will pay more than $53 million to Australian graingrowers following the announcement of its first year dividend of 22 cents per share. The fully franked dividend will be paid to AWB's 68,500 shareholders on December 15, with a record date of November 17. Following a solid financial performance in its first year as a public company, chief executive Andrew Lindberg said the company was able to announce the dividend amount earlier than originally anticipated. That, he said, was done to ensure growers were aware of the payment before heading into what was predicted to be a difficult harvest period. "While this dividend amount has been announced ahead of our full-year profit, we are confident that we are on track to achieve a strong result," Mr Lindberg said. Major revenue contributors included financial services to growers, including financing and underwriting. AWB also last week announced its Guaranteed Pool Return rates for it 2000-01 Harvest Payments, which are based on 80pc of the current pool equity. In the past two weeks, the pool estimate for Australian Premium White has increased by $11/t, an improvement which the AWB will pass on to growers through the Harvest Payment. "The take-up rate for the Harvest Payment for those growers who have already harvested this season has been extremely high, and I understand how important this cash flow is to them," AWB chairman Trevor Flugge said. The GPR represents the minimum pool return growers could expect if they received a Harvest Payment, and for benchmark APW (10pc protein, 5pc screenings), it is $176 FOB, 80pc of the pool equity at $220.


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