Western Australia’s farmers have closed the history book on an almost $7 billion crop, their most valuable and second-largest harvest ever.
Grain Industry Association of Western Australia’s (GIWA) final crop report puts the final harvest figure at 17.9 million tonnes of grain.
The harvest’s record profit was driven by strong demand from drought-affected regions on the east coast.
This year’s crop value is almost $1 billion higher than the previous record set in 2013, with tonnage beaten only by an 18.2 million tonne harvest two years ago.
The state produced about 10 million tonnes of wheat, 5.1 million tonnes of barley, 1.4 million tonnes of canola, 600,000 tonnes of lupins and 500,000 tonnes of oats.
WA’s main grain handler, CBH Group, received 16.4 million tonnes of grain, with the rest was taken up by private sales, deliveries to competing handlers and on-farm storage for seed stock or feed.
CBH had to build 1.1 million tonnes of emergency storage to hold up against the pressure on its network.
GIWA’s crop report author Michael Lamond said it was an unusual year.
“It was, for a lot of growers, a once-in-a-20-year or once-in-a-lifetime event,” he said.
“The unusual thing in 2018 was the areas that went well were quite widespread across the state.”