Agribusiness & Food

CBH harvest smashes records

More than 600 jobs will be created in regional Queensland following the latest round of funding from the State Government’s Rural Economic Development (RED) grants program.

The CBH Group has marked the end of the 2021/22 harvest in Western Australia, breaking more than 90 production records across the network.

Growers delivered 50 per cent more than the five-year harvest average, with the total tonnes delivered reaching 21.3 million tonnes. This surpasses the previous record in 2016/17 of 16.65 million tonnes, and the five-year average of 14.2 million tonnes.

Of the 130 sites that received grain, 40 set new records for tonnes delivered in one day and 54 exceeded their previous record for total tonnes delivered to the site in one harvest.

Acting Chief Operations Officer Mick Daw said the harvest had exceeded all expectations.

“Most growers experienced yields well above average for all crop types, and the rate at which it was harvested and delivered is unprecedented.” Daw said.

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“Early in the growing season, we could see that harvest was going to be a big one, and as each month passed, the estimates that were being generated were truly staggering.

“Preparing our supply chain and network to safely receive and store this bumper crop was our key focus throughout 2021.

CBH opened 130 sites this year, including the two new sites of Meenaar and North Kojonup.

Daw said the organisation also added a record 2.4 million tonnes of emergency storage across 33 of these sites.

“Our recruitment campaign for our harvest employees was also part of this preparation and was successful in ensuring we could attract the 2000 harvest causals to regional WA to help us with the job,” he said.

“In the end, growers delivered enough grain to fill the Optus Stadium 17 times over – a truly astounding effort.”

At the peak of harvest, a new record was set with CBH receiving almost 585,000 tonnes in one day. Altogether, there were 11 days where more than 500,000 tonnes were delivered on each day, something that has only happened five times in CBH’s 88-year history.

“Growers across WA need to be congratulated for their innovation and resilience in not only growing this magnificent crop but their ability to strip it at a record pace with their significant investment in modern technology and machinery,” Daw said.

“Although this put significant pressure on our sites, the preparation and efforts of our employees allowed CBH to keep up with the pace at which the growers were harvesting.

“The next challenge is moving the significant amount of grain received through the network and shipping it to our global customers. The Western Australian grain rail and road network will be at peak capacity through the whole year as we move grain to port.”

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