Million dollar upgrade for Murchison East grain storage

Taking shape: Earthworks at the Murchison East GrainCorp site. An upgrade will increase capacity ahead of a predicted bumper grain harvest. Photo by Megan Fisher

GrainCorp is investing $1 million in a major upgrade for its Murchison East grain receival site.

Expansions of other sites in northern Victoria are expected soon, as the company prepares for an above average grain harvest this season.

Work has already started on boosting the capacity at Murchison East — which mostly takes wheat and canola — by 80,000 tonnes.

GrainCorp senior manger of supply chain (south) Craig Cochrane said he had inspected crops in the region between lockdowns and, with the crops looking very good to excellent, there was a massive potential for a big year.

“I expect it to be as big as last year, if not bigger,” he said.

“So we are going flat-out to prepare for the season.

“Farmers have been telling us, if we can increase capacity they will support us.”

Mr Cochrane said the upgrade would advantage farmers, as previously those who could not get all of their harvest into a GrainCorp site because of capacity issues had to off-load their extra production in a good season into a competitive market. They will also not have to develop their own, on-farm storage.

In some cases the upgrades will also improve turnaround times for deliveries.

At Murchison East, earthworks have been under way to create large bunkers with concrete sides in the second stage of an upgrade.

“We have plans to expand capacity in other sites in the north-east, but we will need to complete development approvals,” Mr Cochrane said.

He hopes several of the other upgrades will be ready for this year’s harvest.