THE 2019-20 harvest has officially kicked off with canola being delivered to the Geraldton port this week.
When Farm Weekly went to print on Monday, there had been 50 tonnes of canola delivered that morning with more expected to come through as the week progressed.
CBH Geraldton Zone manager Duncan Gray said on Monday that the canola was from a Mullewa grower and went CAG1 with the quality surprisingly good.
"It was a fantastic sample, be it last year or this year, with above average oil content," Mr Gray said.
"The grower who delivered it said he would be bringing more loads in tomorrow, so we will probably have a couple of hundred tonnes of canola delivered this week at least.
"And I was just talking to the area manager in area one and they were expecting some barley samples to be taken to the Northampton site today and if those samples are ok moisture-wise then growers up there will start harvesting barley as well.
"This week we will only have the Geraldton site open and if that barley sample is OK we will open Northampton, but the other sites in the zone won't open just yet.
"We will see it start to see more filter into Geraldton this week though because as is always the case up here, once someone starts then others follow pretty quickly."
Mr Gray said wheat and lupins would probably begin to come in at the end of next week.
"This will be from the northern part of the zone, crops in the southern part are still very green," he said.
"It will still be three weeks before we are fully ramped up right across the zone."
Mr Gray said it was hard to know what to expect in terms of quality and tonnes in the Geraldton area this year.
"Those small amount of growers who were lucky enough to get some April rain are probably looking at an average or just below average harvest," he said.
"In other areas, such as east of Yuna, they are fortunate to have a crop given there was hardly any rain in the spring.
"There is still some potential up here for crops that would normally not make grain to make grain, but we will just have to wait and see.
"It is also difficult to nail what the quality will be and everyone is finding it hard to gauge at the moment.
"We won't really know until the headers get into it.
"Some growers are saying they are rubbing wheat heads out and there are small grains, while others are saying they are seeing plump grains.
"Until those harvesters really get going, it is hard to guess."
Mr Gray said the timing of this year's harvest opening was in line with most years.
"Normally it is between October 4 and 10 and we are smack bang in the middle of that now," he said.
"One thing that is for sure this year, growers are keen to get into harvest and get it over with.
"The average up here is about 45-50 days harvesting and we would expect it to probably be half that
time this year."
In last month's Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) crop report, it was estimated that the Geraldton Zone would produce a 1.635 million tonne crop.
This would be less than half of what was produced in the zone last year, when it sat at 3.622mt of production.
In its latest report, released in early September, GIWA was estimating a 12.3mt crop for WA.