The West

Wet end to winter gives farmers confidence
Wet end to winter gives farmers confidence

WA is on target for another solid grain harvest after a wet end to winter for many growers and as confidence soars across the State's agricultural industries.

A survey released yesterday showed WA farmers were the most confident in Australia, with sheep and cattle producers leading the way.

The Rabobank research backs the findings of the recent Planfarm-Bankwest survey of 550 boardacre operations, which showed some had an 18.6 per cent return on capital on the back of last year's record 17 million- tonne harvest in WA.

CBH grains operations manager Brett Jeffery said WA remained set for an above-average harvest despite some areas missing out on badly needed rain. Mr Jeffery said conditions were on a knife's edge in the Geraldton port zone and in the north and east of the Kwinana port zone.

CBH expects to begin receiving its first deliveries of canola within weeks as growers in the Geraldton zone begin to swath in what Mr Jeffery said was a very early start to the harvest.

Growers in the Albany zone have the potential to match or better last year's record tonnage depending on the impact of frost, while recent rain is helping the Esperance zone recovery from a slow start.

CBH will offer growers a record rebate of $4.55/t on storage and handling charges this season, up from a maximum of $2.60/t last harvest, as it prepares for greater competition from rival grain traders.

The marketing and trading rebate is up from $1/t to $3.30/t after CBH traded 10mt of grain in 2013-14.

The Rabobank survey showed 46 per cent of WA farmers expect the agricultural economy to improve over the next 12 months.

Their confidence, particularly among sheep and cattle producers, was based on favourable seasonal conditions, higher commodity prices and strength in overseas markets.

"Australian exports of boxed beef are up more than 60 per cent from April to June compared with the same time last year, and live exports are up more than 70 per cent over the same period," Rabobank State manager Crawford Taylor said.

Planfarm consultant Graeme McConnell said production was at the core of all good profit results, as highlighted by the impact of last season's record harvest.

The Planfarm-Bankwest survey showed farmers in the medium rainfall zone bordered by Dowerin, Narembeen, Brookton and Northam boosted average wheat yields from 1.35t/ha the previous season to 2.69t/ha in 2013-14 for an operating profit of $324/ha. competitive prices $4.55 The record rebate, per tonne, CBH will offer growers on storage and handling charges this season, up from a maximum of $2.60/t last harvest.

The West Australian

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