Australia:Good rain signals great wheat harvest

CBH grain operations manager Colin Tutt said WA’s 2010 crop estimate was sitting at 9 to 9.5 million tonnes before this recent rain event, reported “Kazakh-Zerno” NA with reference to the “Meat Trade News Daily“.

Mr Tutt said the rain was probably about five to six weeks late but was certainly welcome and had now established a better base to work from.

He said the stronger base could see WA’s final production reach 10 to 11mt, given a strong finish with good follow up rain throughout September and October.

Mr Tutt said Esperance was looking the best of the Wheatbelt cropping locations but the story was not as good in the north and east.

He said Moora had received 65mm and Morawa about 37mm with this week’s burst but the rain was not as forthcoming around places like Bruce Rock, Kondinin and Corrigin.

“There’s hardly anything out of the ground yet for the crops there,” Mr Tutt said.

“We will sit on this estimate for a while now and would need a good finish in September and October to get a return of 10mt or 11mt.

“Crops are only just getting out of the ground now but at least we have a really good base to work from because of this rain.”

RDC Western Panel chairman Neil Young said the storms and subsequent rain was greatly appreciated and must be worth “millions of dollars” to growers and the grain industry.
Mr Young said he had observed a lot of crops on his travels over the past few weeks throughout the Wheatbelt.
He said most of them were struggling through the season and hanging on for rain but had now changed for the better.
“This rain has been excellent,” he said.
“A lot of crops around Bruce Rock and through to west of Hyden were doing it tough, not stressed but doing it the hard way and needed this rain to get them through that period.”
The Grain Industry Association of WA (GIWA) released its monthly crop report last week, saying 6.546 million hectares had been planted this year. 
That figure was 91.6pc of last year’s total planted area and included 3.965m/ha of wheat.
“It has been dry to very dry in all regions of WA to July 8 except the south coast,” the report said.
“The southern central areas of the Geraldton zone have maintained average crop potential but the
eastern, northern and western areas are in worse condition than reported in June.
“Growers have reduced plantings in eastern and northern areas due to the poor conditions.
“The Albany zone, apart from the coastal area, is in average condition with the recent continual frosts retarding crop growth.”
The GIWA commentary said good to excellent conditions were continuing along the south coast and wider Esperance zone.
“Waterlogging is restricting potential from Hopetoun to Munglinup,” GIWA said.
“Further rain may exacerbate the problem.
“The area from Mt Madden to Ravensthorpe and Cascades, and from Scaddan to Wittenoom Hills, is in excellent condition.
“Rainfall totals for the 24 hours to July 9 were very welcome with good falls of between 20 to 40mm in almost all areas apart from the south coast.
“Crop prospects have subsequently improved markedly, though from a low base.”
The GIWA report also provided commentary on WA crop conditions, estimating that 86pc of the Esperance crop is in excellent condition with 60pc of Albany good but almost 90pc of Kwinana is average to poor, with a similar reading in Geraldton.

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