GrainCorp Nhill has record grain receivals

WIMMERA farmers have had a record-breaking harvest, with storage sites in the region receiving more grain than other areas of the state. 

GrainCorp’s Nhill site received more than 180,000 tonnes for the 2017-18 harvest season, making it the organisation’s biggest site in the country.

GrainCorp Victorian regional manager Peter Johnston said it was a record year for Nhill.

“There was more grain coming into Nhill than we saw last year, which was a very high production year right across the state,” he said.

“Sites in the northern Wimmera performed pretty well, but many of the southern areas were affected with the November frost, so the quality wasn’t there and a fair number of farmers opted to keep their grain on farm,” he said.

“However, farmers around Nhill had a very good finish to the season and weren’t affected by the frost – it was a fantastic year for producers.

“Lillimur also performed well because of a good season and favourable prices.”

Mr Johnston said while overall receivals were down across the country, the Wimmera bucked the trend, with sites receiving more grain than average. 

”Places like Natimuk were slightly below average, about 10 per cent down, so it does vary from site to site,” he said.

“However, if we look at the Wimmera as a whole, we were about 10 per cent above an average year.

“We are very pleased with the results.”

Mr Johnston said totals were boosted after a severe weather warning caused growers to try to bank as much grain as possible.

In late November, farmers were racing against the clock, trying to strip crops before forecasts of up to 200 millimetres of rain hit the region.

Growers feared that the heavy rain would destroy millions of tonnes of unharvested crops throughout the Wimmera.

However, the rain didn’t eventuate and between 20mm and 40mm was recorded in most parts of the Wimmera.

Mr Johnston said November 30 was a massive day as growers tried to store their grain before the wet weather.

“Many sites, including Nhill and Murtoa were operational for 20 hours,” he said.

“Warracknabeal was open for 18 hours.

“It was an absolutely massive day and we wanted to do everything we could to get the grain away from the headers.”

Mr Johnston said overall every harvest was different.

“This one was exactly the same because it was so different,” he said.

Viterra’s total receivals for the 2017-18 season reached 5.6 million tonnes across Victoria and South Australia.

Vietrra Doeen site manager Andrew Brown said it was an above average year in the region, with growers experiencing solid yields.

“Ongoing rain caused a few challenges during harvest, but yield and quality still held up well,” he said.

“Protein has also been reasonably high. 

“We saw some crops around Horsham experience a fair bit of frost damage.

“Canola acreage and yields were well up on previous years, with crops showing higher oil content.

“Our container packing operations have also been busy packing wheat, barley and canola for a range of export markets.”