Improving the value & sustainability of Esperance port zone grain growers.

Bagging Grain Profits - Technical assessments of the use of silo bags in the WA supply chain

Project Timelines:   November 20-17 – April 2019

While grain bags have been in use in storage and handling across Australia for some time there has been no formal studies of the potential effects on grain quality for their use. To date there has been anecdotal finger pointing at grain bag use for some quality issues however this has not been qualified by any formal research activity. This project will fill this void of technical information of actual risk factors to grain quality while being a relevant study based in the WA wheatbelt region. This project is not only innovative but also essential to protect against possible negative outcomes for the WA grains industry. This project will investigate grain quality factors (moisture, temperature, germination, color) and market liability risks associated with the use of silo bags in the WA grain export supply chain. In the past 5 years the use rate of grain silo bags in the WA grain industry has increased dramatically. The key driver for this is the logistical advantage of rapid harvest followed by on site storage of grain.  Farmers have found their use to be vital in areas such as moisture and grain quality management as well as capturing freight cost advantages. Grain silo bags are now a proven tool for harvest management in WA. There is however a gap in local technical data on their best practice guidelines and potential grain quality risk factors. In a pro-active approach to a potentially negative market response and to ensure maximum on farm supply chain flexibility, SEPWA seeks to conduct a research project to assess potential effects on grain quality associated with silo bags and highlight ways to minimize risk going forward. This project will closely monitor a number of grain silo bags during the 2017/18 and 2018/19 harvest seasons to assess them for grain quality implications. In this process, the logistical and harvest management implications will also be documented to understand best practice guidelines for all WA grain growers.

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