Wimmera harvest comes to an end 

MANY Wimmera farmers are returning headers to sheds after what they have labelled a successful harvest, despite frost damage and fires.

Victorian Farmers Federation Wimmera branch president and Warracknabeal farmer Ross Johns said the northern Wimmera had a very good harvest this season.

"It went really well and people seemed to have a good solid average," he said. 

"There was a severe amount of frost damage between south of Warracknabeal and Horsham.

"For those farmers it was quite a difficult environment."

Mr Johns said his crops yielded very well.

"My average was above average, so that was very good," he said.

"Canola yielded about 10 per cent less than I expected.

"Wheat, barley and lentils all yielded very well."

Mr Johns said a major issue this harvest was fires.

"There were a number of fires around Warracknabeal during harvest," he said.

Many fires were sparked by headers.

"At some point, the industry needs to get together and work out a way to manage this risk," Mr Johns said.

"It seems to be a fact that the fires are starting partly from machinery and partly from how they are being operated.

"We need to come up with scientific evidence on what exactly is causing these fires."

Mr Johns said the industry needed to look at which manufacturers were causing the greatest problems and if the way headers were operated contributed to the fires in any way.

"Certainly there needs to be some work done," he said.

West Wimmera Shire Mayor and Minimay farmer Ron Hawkins said the region had some very good crops this season.

"Overall we are pretty happy," he said. 

"Wheat and beans were good, but canola was affected by the wet.

"Barley was average."

Cr Hawkins said farmers in Kaniva had a very good harvest.

Farmers in Edenhope are still harvesting, but have been delayed by rain the past few days.

Emerald Grain Edenhope site manager Di Holland said they had received more than 30,000 tonnes of grain.

"We are still going," she said. 

"We are hoping for more yet but farmers have been delayed by the rain."

She said many farmers in the area still had lots of grain to harvest.

The site increased its storage

capacity before harvest, allowing the site to receive an additional 40,000 tonnes.

"It's been very good for us," Mrs Holland said.

She said the quality of grain had also been good.

"Most barley has been malt so far," she said. "Wheat has mainly be ASW, with about two or three per cent APW and one or two per cent GP1.

"We will see what happens after the rain hopefully there won't be too much damage about."

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