The Cunningar receival now has the ability to load a train in under four hours and still receive grain at the same time, it can also hold up to 40 wagons, which, previously was not even half of that capacity.

Cunningar, Cootamundra, Greenethorpe, Noonbinna, Nyrang Creek and Maimuru have recorded their all-time best harvest season. Following on from years of drought, GrainCorp’s sites in the Hilltops region have this season collected over 400,000 tonnes of grain.

The new rail-loading system at GrainCrop’s Cunningar receival have also been timely in allowing large volumes of grain to be received, as well as an efficient 24-hour turnaround transport from Cunningar to Port Kembla.

The receival now has the ability to load a train in under four hours and still receive grain at the same time, it can also hold up to 40 wagons, which, previously was not even half of that capacity.

This season, Cunningar has received a record 147,000 tonnes of grain, smashing the previous site receival record of 99,000 during the 2016/17 harvest season.

And this number is not even finalised yet. Meanwhile, Cootamundra received 75,000 tonnes in total and has now closed.

At Cunningar, site manager Jamie Asgill said the main commodities received were canola and large amount of wheat.

“During the peak of harvest, wheat was coming in very quickly,” he said.

“During the last bumper season [16/17 harvest], we were getting up to 10,000 tonnes of wheat a day. However, we were receiving up to 13,000 tonnes a day this harvest.

“In fact, in a 36-hour period, we received nearly 40,000 tonnes alone.”

And out on Oxton Park, Director Pat O’Connor added that his business enjoyed the upgrades and utility of the Cunningar receival.

“We put a lot of our grain on there and I think it’s a doing a good job. With a whole new system being able to turnaround that quick, it has made a huge difference to us,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Having those trains makes an enormous impact to the capacity and it has also made every cent spent on that site years ago, so worth it.”

With a record-breaking harvest season, there was so much to celebrate for Oxton Park besides its 100-year anniversary in 2020.

A blessing in disguise, the four-generation family business which stretches over 8,000 hectares and occupies over 18 properties, have not had a break since last August.

Average canola yield were at 3mt/ha+.

Pat said with an outstanding season it was a credit to strong numbers in staff as well as beginning harvesting early.

“From our point-of-view, we were able to get on top of the harvest because we started early. We finished with our canola early and then started our wheat earlier than usual,” he said.

“Weather conditions were generally very good during this harvest too. With a big harvest like that, the biggest threat is a lot of a rain and a downgrade of wheat.

“And timing wise, we had everything right. We didn’t have to rely on contractors, so that made it easier.”

GrainCorp’s Cunningar facility grand opening was on December 19, 2017.

From there on, a $8.1 million upgrade saw the construction of a new siding to allow loading of a 44 wagon train and building of a 1,000 tonne grain storage bin.

There was also an establishment of a 1,000tph loading chute and a new grain conveyor system.

The project to upgrade was undertaken primarily by Martinus Rail and sourced from the Federal Government, local community, the former Harden Shire Council and GrainCorp.

At the official opening of the new additions to the receival site, the General Manager of Operations for GrainCorp said the new upgrades would remove 4,000 truck journeys from the roads each year.

Christopher Tan