THE hard work of a frenzied harvest is paying much-needed and unexpected dividends in the eastern Riverina.
After one of the driest winter cropping seasons on record the region’s primary producers are delivering some quality grain to the silo. And the outcome is not what was initially thought. Early results for the region have been better than expected.
Emerald Grain site manager at The Rock, Ben Redway, said the biggest challenge during harvest had been the weather. This site draws in much of the grain produced in southern NSW and throughout the eastern Riverina.
“Some people stopped (on Sunday) due to the windy weather, and concerns about potential fires, and we had some storms go through to the north of The Rock,” Mr Redway said.
The early harvest has set things up well for a fast finish, hopefully for many, before Christmas.
“We are seeing large volumes come through,” Mr Redway said. One of the most positive aspects of the 2018 harvest was the fact that growers in the region had been able to deliver quality grain.
“The quality has been excellent … we are seeing massive amounts of protein in the wheat,” he said.
“They haven’t seen that kind of protein before,” he said. These high protein levels combined with a good market price domestically has set the industry up well and could help to offset concerns about yield. “We are seeing some good returns per tonne,” Mr Redway said.
He said there will likely be another busy week before people start to come towards the end of harvest.
“We have been blessed in terms of quality this year,” Mr Redway said.
Meanwhile, activity on the roads with grain trucks delivering to silos had been high.
The intensity and volume of rural vehicles was highlighted in the eastern Riverina when a road safety program was announced recently at Yerong Creek.
Peter Yates of Yerong Creek hosted Michael McCormack, who was acting prime minister at the time, to discuss a promotional program to highlight the plight of rural road users and the importance of sharing roads.