A STATEWIDE harvest ban and following rain slowed headers last week but harvest is now at full speed in most regions with growers pleased with barley and canola yields.
Over the past week the Bureau of Meteorology recorded eight millimetres of rain at Coorow with other falls at Three Springs (5mm), Yuna (2mm), Borden (6mm), Munglinup (5mm), Esperance (4mm), Wongan Hills (2mm), Hyden (4mm) and Williams (6mm).
The Geraldton zone has received about 45 per cent of its estimated harvest with 1.4 million tonnes received.
This is made up of about 850,000t of wheat, 146,000t lupins, 112,000t barley and 284,000t canola.
About half of barley received is going into feed segregations.
Zone manager Duncan Gray said grain was moving well.
"We have rail operations ramping up to seven days next week and we have shipping slots filling up throughout November and December which will certainly help with the movement of grain," he said.
"The season still looks very good up here but we are starting to see a lot more frosted grain through the south and east of the zone as everyone starts moving into their wheat."
The Kwinana zone has received 1.5mt, the majority being 480,000t of barley and 450,000t canola.
Canola yields have been exceptional across the majority of the harvested areas with many growers expected to average upward of two tonnes per hectare.
The higher canola yields have meant an increase in essential transport across many sites early in the harvest period.
Zone manager Gavin Bignell said there had been some mixed results with barley deliveries in relation to both yield and quality.
"There are areas with exceptional barley yields," he said.
"However, early indications are that the frost has been more widely spread and caused more damage than initially expected.
"Frost damage has resulted in the need to introduce Feed 3 segregations at selected sites as light weight barley is a significant issue in certain areas.
"To date 3000t of Feed 3 has been delivered."
Wheat deliveries are seven to 10 days behind last season with varied results in quality.
"However there is a clear trend even early in the harvest that there will not be a lot of high protein," Mr Bignell said.
"Of the 140,000t of wheat delivered to date, only 2300t has made the H1 grade."
It's been a slower start to harvest than the previous few years in the Albany zone with 180,000t received so far compared to about 400,000t at the same time last year.
Canola accounts for most of this.
Whilst the oil content has been very good, zone manager Greg Thornton said there had been more Canola 2 already received this year than in past years.
"This is mainly due to frost damage from growers in the north of the zone - quality has improved as growers further south start harvest," he said.
About 60 per cent of barley received so far has been graded as feed.
"While some malt barley is being received, a number of Malt 2 segregations have been introduced as required.
"From samples being submitted there may also be a requirement to introduce lower quality segregations in some areas to cater to light weight barley."
An estimated 20pc of expected receivals have been delivered in the Esperance zone.
Zone manager Mick Daw said there were still some crops which were too green, but there was good news on yields.
"Frost has been a factor in many of the crops, however growers who were expecting to be badly affected have had some pleasing results with yields much higher than anticipated," Mr Daw said.
"It is still early days and there are quality issues with some of the barley not making weight."
The early direct to vessel canola shipments worked well and feedback from growers was positive.
Statewide Grain Cleaning owner Michael Swain said there was still a possibility of frost-affected barley grain making malt grades.
He has been working with growers around Munglinup and Dumbleyung and in some cases by using the company's NuFab equipment with larger and more accurate aspirators, frost-affected grain could still make malt grade.
"There's a lot of guys out there that are driving in the paddocks and then driving straight back out because they don't know what to do," he said.
"There is still the potential that some of that grain can still go to malt, which is an extra $30-40t/ha on what they could get as feed."