GrainCorp plans to build one million tonnes of new storage capacity at several sites ahead of the 2021-22 winter crop harvest.
Following last year’s bumper crop where more than 60 GrainCorp sites broke all-time receival records, the agribusiness is expanding its regional network, which stretches across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
GrainCorp Managing Director and CEO Robert Spurway broke the good news to growers last week, confirming plans had started developing before last year’s harvest finished.
“Planning has been well underway for some time now and the works will focus on boosting our capacity in major cropping regions across New South Wales and Victoria in particular,” he said.
“We’ll build extra storage across the Central and Northern regions of NSW and across the North-East region of Victoria.
“On top of the new storage, we are also looking at re-opening some sites to accommodate the anticipated demand, and we have a maintenance plan in place to get these sites back into full operation.
“We are currently working through approval processes with several local government authorities and we look forward to providing growers with specific site details as soon as possible.”
The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) estimates over 55 million metric tonnes (mmt) of grain was produced across Australia from the 2020/21 winter harvest, with just under 30mmt produced on the east coast.
Mr Spurway said the company is working around the clock to move as much leftover grain from that intake as possible before the new season crop is ready.
“Growers are driving past their local sites and noticing we’re still carrying grain from last harvest, which is typical after a large production year,” he said.
“The new storage will take some pressure off these sites, and we will be operating a large fleet of trains over harvest to continue to make space as deliveries roll in.”
The June 2021 ABARES crop report is forecasting 46.8mmt production across Australia for the 2021/22 winter crop, with over 22mmt of that on the east coast.
GrainCorp’s network has taken in approximately 16mmt from growers last harvest (2020/21), eclipsing the company’s previous bumper crop season in 2016/17, where 15mmt was delivered.
Mr Spurway said he is cautiously optimistic for growers as they draw closer to the 2021/22 harvest, with sites in Central Queensland expecting to receive grain from September.
“There is still plenty of weather to come between now and harvest but I certainly wish all of our growers the best of luck with the season ahead, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back on site for another exciting year.”