CBH Group has cut its estimate of Western Australia’s grain harvest for the second time in five weeks, with the farmers’ cooperative now tipping it will handle 12.5 million tonnes in the current season.
It had originally estimated it would handle 13.5mt but that was cut to 13mt at the end of October.
In an update released late Friday, general manager of operations David Capper attributed the latest downgrade to some areas of the state experiencing heavy losses due to wind, hail and fire.
“The last few days have had some weather interruptions with more rain forecast in many areas over weekend,” Mr Capper said.
“Quality continues to be a frustration for growers and we appreciate their support and co-operation as we try to get the segregation mix right and help growers to maximise the value of the remaining crop.”
Mr Capper said the harvest was 80 per cent complete, with CBH receiving its 10 millionth tonne last week.
CBH’s latest estimate for grain receivals for the 2015-16 harvest is down from 13.5mt last year.
It compares with a recent low of just 6.5mt in 2010-11 and a high of 15.9mt in 2013-14 – when the state’s total harvest was 17mt.
As the state’s dominant grain handler, CBH collects the vast majority of grain harvested in WA.
Across the state, the strongest zones include Geraldton, where the harvest is nearly complete.
CBH has received 2.1mt already and anticipates up to a further 200,000 tonnes, meaning Geraldton will be above average.
Kwinana Zone manager Gavin Bignell said wheat yields and screenings continue to be disappointing across large areas.
In the Albany zone, receivals have totalled 1.84mt, in comparison to 1.54mt received at the same time last year.