WA growers will be able to deliver wheat to moisture tolerance limit of 13% as part of AWB Golden Rewards this harvest, following a final agreement between AWB and Cooperative Bulk Handling this week.
AWB had originally proposed to allow a moisture tolerance limit of 13.5% in WA (while retaining its moisture standard of 12.5%), subject to the discretion of CBH and their ability to outturn at the required international standards.
"We have had recent discussions with CBH, and for this harvest, they have informed us they are only prepared to accept deliveries up to 13% within the rules established for Golden Rewards," General Manager AWB National Pool Sarah Scales said.
"Our aim with the development and introduction of Golden Rewards for moisture was to provide more flexibility for growers, and bulk handlers, and a system of grain payment that would be more equitable.
"AWB’s proposal was always dependent on CBH handling grain moisture up to 13.5% and meeting the required outturn standards, without incurring significant additional costs for growers.
"While research from the Stored Grain Research Laboratory, and our early discussions with CBH suggested wheat could safely be accepted up 13.5% moisture, CBH have informed us they were not prepared to accept grain at that level this harvest without additional costs and exposure for the National Pool.
"This is the case even into aerated storage, which is why AWB has not been able to reach agreement for south coast growers.
"Receival of wheat up to 13.5% was always up to CBH’s discretion, and we felt it was unreasonable to ask AWB National Pool and growers to wear additional exposure with no means of control over it.
"CBH felt unable to agree to the various alternatives AWB put forward, and the final arrangement means AWB can only introduce a 13% tolerance, and CBH will operate according to the same rules as all other states except SA, where they will have a 13.5% tolerance," Ms Scales said.
While CBH’s position reduces the flexibility originally proposed for WA growers under Golden Rewards for moisture, it will still offer a more equitable grain payment system this harvest.
AWB will review the introduction of the 13% tolerance level with CBH after harvest, to determine whether agreement can be reached on introducing a higher tolerance level next year.
Growers will receive premiums for grain deliveries between 8 and 12.5% moisture through AWB Golden Rewards. Deliveries above 12.5% moisture will incur discounts.