Who will harvest the crop?

30 Apr, 2008 01:40 PM
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CBH expects a severe shortage of labour for harvest.
CBH expects a severe shortage of labour for harvest.

SO-CALLED grey nomads, retirees caravanning as tourists, are being recruited by the CBH Group to work at grain receival points throughout the Wheatbelt.

Already CBH has started an advertising campaign to attract workers for what is predicted to be the state’s biggest grain production year on record totaling between 15-16 million tonnes.

University students also will be targeted along with backpackers and overseas workers.

Already CBH has appointed four skilled Filipino workers to act as receival point officers (RPOs) in the lake areas.

CBH chairman Neil Wandel said planning is advanced to ensure CBH is well positioned to handle a record harvest.

“There has been criticism we will find it difficult to handle 16mt but our current storage capacity is 19mt and we’ve earmarked a further 300,000t of storage for construction before this year’s harvest,” he said.

Areas involved include Brookton, Moora, York, Kojonup and other Great Southern bins.

“I’m aware of concerns about our ability to handle the crop but we’ve got good forward planning in place and by harvest we will probably only have about a million tonnes (of grain) in carryover,” Mr Wandel said.

“I’m hoping the whole Wheatbelt gets an average year, it would be fantastic.

“And if we get more than 19 million tonnes weÕll be pushing up earth bunkers to ensure all the grain is tarped.

“CBH will get it all under tarps and I reckon that would be a great problem to have because it would reflect a great year.”

Mr Wandel said extra canola production could be an issue if it could not be binned.

“You can’t tarp canola but we’ve got strategies in place to meet such contingencies and I’m confident we can deliver.”

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