AWB’s National Moisture Taskforce is to include a representative from the Grains Council of Australia (GCA), to assist in investigating options for handling and marketing higher moisture grain.
Following a difficult harvest period for many growers on the moisture front, AWB and the GCA have joined forces in a grain moisture taskforce to explore ways to successfully manage the issue of grain moisture while minimising the risk of weather damage at harvest time.
Issues being considered by the taskforce will include financial impact of weather damage, effects on yields and profits, harvesting hours, storage of high moisture grain and methods to reduce harvested grain moisture content, such as drying.
AWB (International) Limited’s General Manager, Ms Sarah Scales, said the taskforce’s investigation was part of AWB’s commitment to developing a customer focussed response to the issue of managing moisture in grain marketing.
“We are well aware of the moisture problems from a grower’s perspective, and are working hard, in conjunction with growers through the GCA, to find a solution to those problems that also respects the needs of our customers,” Ms Scales said.
“By gathering accurate information, working to establish accurate market signals for higher moisture wheat and gauging the capacity for storage operators to manage quality, we will be able to explore options, such as payments based on moisture under AWB’s Golden Rewards.
“As always though, it is imperative we do not undermine the quality reputation of Australian wheat, which has been established over many years.
“While our international competitors may out turn wheat at variable and often higher moisture levels, Australia has developed a reputation for supplying high quality clean dry wheat to our international customers and we cannot compromise on this, and risk the premiums already obtained for Australian wheat overseas,” said Ms Scales.
GCA president Keith Perrett said the formation of the joint task force was an important step in a united quest by growers and their wheat marketer to develop an objective grain moisture strategy.
“Moisture is an issue that confronts some grain growers regularly, and is a very frustrating problem at harvest time when it slows the harvest process, and raises the risk of downgraded grain,” Mr Perrett said.
“However, I think growers understand that the standards are there for a reason, and they do not want to see the reputation of Australian grain put in jeopardy.
“The taskforce will consult widely with the grains industry (e.g. growers, bulk handlers) to ensure all issues surrounding moisture are addressed.
“Hopefully this taskforce can find some solutions on the issue, and lead to some options being developed that allow us to successfully manage grain moisture.
“The taskforce representative will be South Australian delegate to the GCA Ms Debbie Thiele,” said Mr Perrett.