Harvest is under way

FIRST IN: Clive Barwick of Michael White & Co and truck driver, John Cameron, with a load of minola. Photo: ELOUISE HAWKEY
FIRST IN: Clive Barwick of Michael White & Co and truck driver, John Cameron, with a load of minola. Photo: ELOUISE HAWKEY

Harvest has officially commenced in the Wellington district with the first truckload of oil seed arriving in town on Monday.

The team at Midwest Rural Proprietary Limited trading as Michael White and Company welcomed the the load of minola from Maurie Street, Wongarbon which ultimately signified the beginning of harvest for 2017.

As of 2pm on Tuesday afternoon eight trucks had made their way through the yard, containing what Mr White reports to be a good quality grain.

“We’re not getting over anxious with this harvest, we do realise it’s been a very tough year out there and so any yield will be very acceptable,” Mr White said.

“I’m pleasantly surprised with the quality that has come in so far.

“The way the season’s been – it’s not a record year, don’t get me wrong – but the quality is better than I thought it would be.”

It comes after what Mr White described as a “challenging” year for growers who battled late frosts, lack of moisture, unseasonable weather and green seed. Meanwhile areas to the south such as Cowra, Boorowa and Young have returned top crops to offset the poorer season up north. 

“It’s going to be a long, slow harvest,” he said.

“Last year we had great yields but this is a pretty poor season.” 

Midwest Rural Proprietary Limited in Wellington currently store two different types of oil seed – canola and the highly-sought after minola.

Growers have the choice of either selling their grain for cash, warehousing it or selling it on contract if they predict the market to improve. 

While oil seed harvest is in full swing, wheat harvest isn’t expected to begin for another week depending on the weather. 

“When it rains you can’t harvest, you have to wait until it dries out,” Mr White said.

“Half the farmers want rain, the other half don’t want it.”

Mr White said in the current situation greener crops are in need of hot, dry weather to finish them, while fully-ripe crops require more rainfall.