Graincorp highlight bumper results for farmers in Parkes region and surrounds

BUMPER HARVEST REAPS REWARDS FOR FARMERS: Trucks were lining up for miles outside of the Graincorp Parkes site. Total grain receivals at the site reached over 260,000 tonnes. Photo: Jenny Kingham.
BUMPER HARVEST REAPS REWARDS FOR FARMERS: Trucks were lining up for miles outside of the Graincorp Parkes site. Total grain receivals at the site reached over 260,000 tonnes. Photo: Jenny Kingham.

The bumper 2020 winter crop for the Parkes region was a welcome return after one of the worst droughts in Australia's history - and Graincorp confirmed receival records were broken at several sites in some fantastic news for farmers.

GrainCorp Parkes Area Manager Tony Gallagher was buoyed by results that were at times challenged by less than optimal weather conditions for both farmers and the Graincorp sites.

"In almost 25 years working with GrainCorp, the 2020/21 harvest season was by far the biggest harvest I've seen and it was great to see growers coming in after a few years of drought," said Tony.

"Despite the challenges presented at times by high temperatures and winds, Parkes and Red Bend have had a really good harvest season with good communications lines in place to assist growers in getting their crops off.

"At our Parkes site, the majority of grain received was wheat, followed by barley and canola and in all, total grain receivals at the site reached over 260,000 tonnes - breaking our previous receival record of 248,000 tonnes during the 2010/11 harvest season.

"Even now, we're still seeing grain trickling in from late harvest activity and on-farm storage," said Tony.

It was much the same story at the Red Bend and Wirrinya sites, where both sides were completely filled and Tony was quick to reassure farmers that Graincorp are working tirelessly to outload grain to ensure sites are ready for next harvest season and any on-farm receivals that are still trickling in.

"At Red Bend, we've filled all eight bunkers and taken more than 170,000 tonnes of grain - again, marking a receival record for the site (the previous best season was 2015/16 harvest when it took 147,000 tonnes).

"With our nearby Wirrinya site filling and closing, and road trains bringing in grain from areas north of Trundle, west of Condobolin and south of Forbes, we arranged additional bunker storage at Parkes.

"Currently, we're loading several export and domestic trains from both Red Bend and Parkes every week, in addition to some road out-loading from Parkes," Tony said.

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In the December Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (ABARES) crop report for NSW, forecasts were still looking incredibly strong despite the possibility for larger than average rainfall, due to La Nina, throughout January to March.

Winter crop production is forecast to rise to a record 17.6 million tonnes in 2020-21, 77 per cent above the 10 year average, despite several spring storms that brought heavy rain and hail that caused significant damage to some areas - fortunately these were not widespread enough to reduce state wide production significantly.

Area planted with winter crops are estimated to be just over 6 million hectares, 14 per cent above the 10 year average while wheat (60 per cent), barley (56 per cent) and canola (47 per cent) also have significantly higher yields above the 10 year average - an incredible return.