CBH safely receives 2019-20 harvest

The 2019-20 harvest is now complete with most parts of Western Australia recording challenging seasonal conditions through the year, contributing to a smaller than average crop with a total of 9.7 million tonnes received across the CBH network.

Continued dry weather throughout harvest allowed for minimal interruptions, with many growers able to finish their harvest programs before Christmas.

Highlights included a safe harvest with minimal incidents on site, a significant improvement in the number of loads delivered using the CDF app and a record-breaking season for the recently upgraded Cranbrook site.

CBH General Manager Operations, Ben Macnamara, said the 2019 growing season conditions presented some challenges.

“With a season like what we have just encountered it was anticipated that we would see wide variability in crop quality, so we proactively planned a number of niche and off-grades to be made available if and when the need presented,” said Macnamara.

“We aim to find the balance between maximising marketing opportunities for growers via offering additional segregations, costs incurred from offering those segregations and what is practically possible on sites.

“The use of technologies like Paddock Planner and the CDF app also assists CBH to plan segregations,” he said.

The CDF app was well utilised throughout the season with 91 per cent of total tonnes delivered using the app, up from 69 per cent last year.

The CDF app is reported to offer a smoother delivery process and helps to understand site cycle times and identify bottlenecks. This information, according to CBH, allows site managers to act quickly to address issues and highlights where potential investment is required in the future.

A record-breaking year for Cranbrook

The Albany zone weathered the hard finish better than other zones, with some areas of the zone experiencing above average yields and quality.

On Thursday 19 December CBH's Cranbrook site surpassed its season receival record receiving 412,000 tonnes. The site’s previous record was 394,354 tonnes set in 2014.

Macnamara said site improvements made before harvest contributed to a better grower experience.

“Cranbrook was one of nine network strategy sites that received a major upgrade prior to harvest this year,” he said.

“We added 152,000 tonnes of storage through six new open bulkheads as well as three new conveyor loading systems and one upgraded conveyor loading system to speed up throughput.

“Works to improve traffic flow also helped reduce cycle times for growers at the site, with an average cycle time of 42 minutes, which is a significant improvement on last year.

“The performance at Cranbrook is particularly impressive considering that the site had a record-breaking season.”

The average network cycle time was 37 minutes, compared to 43 minutes last year. The six-minute improvement can be attributed to a combination of improved site processes, better use of technology and a smaller crop this year.

CBH is now focused on outloading grain safely and efficiently to meet the requirements of a fully booked shipping stem for the first part of the year.

Last month, the CBH Group's strong operational and underlying financial performance was impacted by global grain market forces leading to a Group deficit before rebates of $13.3 million and a net loss after tax of $29.7 million according to 2019 financial results.

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