Graincorp dispels rumours

GRAINCORP has moved to dispel rumours that its Naracoorte receival site won't be open this year.

Local grain grower committee chairman Nick Wight (left) and committee member Tim Schultz at the Naracoorte GrainCorp site. The site is going to be open this year and the committee will work with the company to ensure it remains open for future harvests.

Local grain grower committee chairman Nick Wight (left) and committee member Tim Schultz at the Naracoorte GrainCorp site. The site is going to be open this year and the committee will work with the company to ensure it remains open for future harvests.

The company's regional manager Peter Johnston said the site continued to play an important role in accumulating grain for export to international markets through the Portland port.

"This is an important grain growing region and the season continues to look favourable," he said.

"GrainCorp's Naracoorte site will be open to receive wheat and canola segregations."

Mr Johnston's comments came after he allayed the concerns of some local growers.

"I spoke with some people in the community recently who thought the site was to be closed, but this is not the case - Naracoorte will be open this year," he promised.

"We have received some good feedback from export grain buyers that they like the site to accumulate for cargoes leaving from Portland, so we are expecting there to be good, strong demand his year."

The closure of Naracoorte's receival site would mean higher costs as grain would need to be transported directly to port or another site further away from Naracoorte if not stored on-farm.

Mr Johnston said the formation of a grower silo committee from among local growers would support the ongoing future of the Naracoorte site. Local grower Nick Wight will act as the committee's chairman.

Mr Wight said the committee was formed to ensure the Naracoorte site remains open in the future.

"They were going to shut on us," he told the Herald. "So they (the company) called a meeting and just asked about interest in using the site."

Mr Wight said himself and "half a dozen" other growers and trucking companies formed a committee on the company's advice to keep GrainCorp informed.

Other committee members are Tim and Bruce Schultz, Simon Limbert, Peter Williams, Andrew Grummett and local carrier representatives Crossling Contractors and We Us An Co.

"It's about communication between us growers and GrainCorp," Mr Wight said.

"We'll liaise with them about the amount of grain that is coming."

Growers can contact Mr Wight on 0409 821 505 to find out more about the committee or to discuss issues.

To remain viable and open, the Naracoorte site needs around 20,000 tonnes of grain through a year. Local growers know best what kind of harvest there will be each year so they are best placed to advise the company on what is happening in the district, when grain is coming and what amount.

"You know roughly what's going in because of how much you've sown," Mr Wight said.

"So April next year when all the growers know what they are putting in, that's when the committee would go to the company."

Mr Wight urged local growers to keep communicating with GrainCorp direct.

"We really want the growers to keep in contact with GrainCorp themselves, especially during harvest" he said.

"Just so GrainCorp know when grain is coming." Mr Wight said in recent years the Naracoorte site had put through slightly more than 20,000 tonnes per harvest with this year looking to be around that mark.

"We're looking at maybe having two segregations of canola this year," he said.

"And hopefully three segregations of wheat." With smaller sites closing down it is hoped extra equipment might be transferred to the Naracoorte site in the future.

For this upcoming harvest Mr Johnston said GrainCorp was currently actively recruiting for harvest casuals to support the company's operations.

"I encourage anyone from the Naracoorte community who is interested in helping us to contact us on (03) 5431 1222 or email harvestrecruitment@graincorp.com.au," he said.

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