AS Australia heads towards its second biggest grain crop ever, supply chain stakeholders will be double-checking harvest plans to make sure everything is in place to manage the predicted volumes, according to ANZ's latest Agri Commodity Report
Conditions in different crop growing parts of Australia have been mixed, however most crops are still on-track to be at near-record levels, particularly in Western Australia.
ANZ head of agribusiness Mark Bennett said all major crops were still looking at great forecasts, with the biggest crop on record forecast for canola, the second largest for wheat and the third largest for barley.
"The Australian grain supply chain is world-leading in efficiency, all the way through from the farm, to transportation, to storage, to processing and shipping for export," Mr Bennett said.
"Last year's record crop demonstrated that coping with the massive volume of grains and oilseeds can be a challenge - albeit a good one - and this year's harvest will have the added factor of border disruptions.
"To maximise the size and quality of crops, they need to come off just at the right time, which is why we could see headers in the paddocks on Christmas Day in southern areas, if that's when conditions are optimal."
According to the report, supply chain stakeholders will be double checking that they have plans in place for the scale of harvesters and trucks which will be required, as well as the personnel.
This is something which will be important if the cross-border travel of harvest contractors, which have long been a part of the process as it moves from north to south, is still disrupted.
The report highlighted that with the major volumes forecast to come from a range of crops, grain receival sites will need to plan not just for personnel needs, but for the infrastructure to accommodate separate inflows of wheat, canola, barley and other crops.
It also stated that another trend which may be affected this year could be the growth of onfarm storage, which has risen strongly in recent years, as farms consolidate, retain grain for feed or future sale and as farm storage infrastructure has become relatively less expensive and technologically more advanced.
"For this harvest, given the ongoing strong demand for exports, combined with the rapid growth of the domestic feedlot sector to meet the demand for red meat, it is foreseeable that much larger volumes of grain will be transported directly to their end destination than in the past, including from west to east," Mr Bennett said.
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