Harvest progress slowed down

RECENT rainfall has put the brakes on harvest – at least temporarily - this week.

Salmon Gums farmer Sam Guest said his harvesting activities had been interrupted by the weather.

“The rain has kept us stopped for a bit but I have kept busy with other jobs,” Mr Guest said.

“The weather looks like it is improving so hopefully the recent rain will have little long term effect.”

South East Premium Wheat Association president Lyndon Mickel said he hoped the rain would not cause too many problems.

“Most farmers in the Esperance Port Zone started harvesting earlier than normal so most can make a start on canola or barley,” Mr Mickel said.

“Hopefully there will not be too many issues with quality but it is really too early to say.”

Potential quality concerns with barley include a decrease in the colour, and grain sprouting in the heads meaning it will be downgraded from malt to feed.

Mr Mickel said the majority of farmers in the region are waiting for drier weather before they continue their harvest.

“People who can use a drying facility will be doing so, but the bulk of growers are waiting.

“Many people will harvest field peas before they start the cereals.”

CBH have so far received 250,000 tonnes of the expected 1,500,000 -tonne harvest.

CBH Group Esperance zone manager Mick Daw said some people were still havesting despite delays encountered elsewhere.

“We have had some delays in the harvest as you would expect after the rain however there is a number of people that are still harvesting,” Mr Daw said.

“Most of the tonnes we are receiving at the moment are canola.

“The good news is it looks like the weather is getting better as the week progresses and we should be back into full swing by the end of the week.”

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