Australia’s largest grain exporter, the CBH Group, has officially closed its 2020-21 season harvest with a result that equals the fourth largest on record with 15.1 million tonnes of grain delivered into the network
Despite receiving below average rainfall over the growing season, Western Australian growers demonstrated how innovative and progressive farming practices coupled with mild temperatures can produce an above average crop.
Chief Operations Officer Ben Macnamara congratulated growers and the CBH team for an outstanding season.
“At the start of harvest, the general forecast was for a below average season so for growers to deliver over and above this is a great achievement,” Mr Macnamara said.
“Harvest was relatively smooth, despite widespread rainfall in November which disrupted the start of harvest and caused some frustration and concern over the potential impact on quality.
“In the end, both quality and yields exceeded expectations across some parts of the state. There were some areas where harvest was patchy, and certainly some growers did not have as good a season as others.
“All in all, I’d like to congratulate growers on a great season and thank them for working with us to bring in the large crop safely.”
Several records were broken this season including CBH’s busiest day ever experienced on 23 November when 528,687 tonnes were delivered to 112 sites across the network.
The network-wide record joined 14 sites that broke their daily receival records and 15 sites that broke their season records.
“These records were made possible by our significant investment into expanding and enhancing our network sites.
“The CBH team operating sites efficiently and grower’s investing in their equipment to increase their harvest capacity,” Mr Macnamara said.
“As the pace and size of harvest increases, we will continue investing in our network to ensure we can provide an efficient service to growers when they need it most.”
Site cycle times averaged 38 minutes across the network, a not-unexpected increase of just two minutes from last year given the significantly larger harvest, and still six to eight minutes faster than just a few seasons ago.
Improved site efficiencies have once again been supported by the continued uptake of the CDF app with 96% of tonnes delivered via the app this harvest, up from 91% in 2019-20 and 69% in 2018-19, the first year of network-wide use.
CBH is now focused on the task of out-turning the grain to its four ports to meet a busy export program for the State. The shipping stem is fully booked until the end of June, driven by strong demand from favourable market conditions.