AWB (International) Limited (AWBI) will install a new segregation to accommodate wheat mould, which has emerged in the Albany and Esperance port zones following a long, rain-interrupted harvest.
The new segregation, known as GUW (General Utility Wheat), will be based on the following receival standards; maximum 10% screenings, minimum test weight of 68 kg/hl, minimum falling number of 200 seconds, maximum of 15% stained grain and will allow up to five mould affected grains per half-litre sample.
If mouldy grain is found anywhere in the load (including the truck), the load cannot be received into the major milling grades, and will be received as GUW provided the half litre sample does not include more than five mould affected grains. If it does, the load can only be received as Feed 2.
AWBI General Manager Sarah Scales said the segregation would be established at designated sites in southern areas of WA, allowing growers to continue delivering any mould affected wheat they may have, while providing time for AWB to assess marketing options for that grain.
“AWB has responded quickly to introduce this new segregation, in an effort to help alleviate the frustrations a number of growers are now experiencing at the tail-end of what has clearly been a difficult harvest,” Ms Scales said.
“At this stage we do not have markets specifically identified for mould affected grain, but we will be conducting milling trials and quality tests of wheat we receive into the GUW pool to get a clear understanding of its quality.”
Ms Scales said AWB had determined an estimated return of $200 per tonne (fob, GST exclusive) for the GUW Pool quoted at 10% protein and 5% screenings, and has set the Guaranteed Pool Return at the same level as that of the Feed Pool - $136.64/t.
“AWB will also analyse grain that had been received into the previously established Feed 2 segregation on account of mould, and where possible, upgrade that grain to GUW,” Ms Scales said.
“Mouldy grain, which is considerably different to stained grain, is a serious grain quality issue, and in line with the international standards of acceptability, AWB has always had a nil tolerance on mould.”
“However, establishing this new segregation provides room to investigate what marketing options AWB might have for this wheat, without compromising the integrity of the other Pools.
“But growers should note that at this stage, AWB can make no guarantees as to how and where the grain might be sold, and at what value,” Ms Scales said.
Ms Scales said growers who did have mould affected grain and wanted to deliver into the GUW Pool would need to do so as soon as possible, to allow quality assessments to be undertaken, and the marketing and shipping programs to be prepared.