As we are now into spring and starting to see crops mature, it won't be long until harvest is upon us.
There are a few things to think about heading into harvest and being harvest ready is key to managing a trouble-free season.
One area to look at when running on-farm transport is taking trucks on approved heavy vehicle routes.
Many areas have had road maintenance and upgrades in the past 12 months, so it will be important to look at approved routes and permits for road trains and b-triples to understand accessibility.
These routes can be found on the RAVnet, an interactive online map put together by the SA government.
This should give the information you may need for route planning and any permits that may be required.
It goes without saying all vehicles and equipment should be well-maintained as part of a preventative maintenance program well ahead of the harvest season.
On-farm storage may be an option for many businesses thinking about what they should hold into the new year.
These decisions should be made on commodity quality, price and delivery options, especially with delivery premiums about into the new year.
The quality of wheat across the world has been heavily discussed recently, with many counties having a reduction in premium grades, helping support present wheat prices.
Thought should also be put into where certain grains are stored, such as lentils in a shed rather than a silo to reduce damage and limit quality downgrades.
Another consideration during the harvest period is to think about the site-based pricing into specific sites.
There are potentially gains to be made in site-based pricing with cost of transport from the paddock.
This means trucks may be better off delivering that bit further from farm, as there could be a higher gain in dollars a tonne received, compared with the extra freight.
But, you need to be mindful of turnaround times if going the extra distance.
Some research may also be needed for site specific segregations to ensure that crop can be delivered to the site.
Grain delivery is entering the 21st century after Viterra joined AWB in releasing a mobile delivery app.
Viterra's "Viterra app" and AWB's "Grain Delivery app" both allow growers to pre-fill harvest information and be used in place of the hard copy book.
This will help with the accuracy of information for each load and reduce errors when tipping off.
This can be linked to each truck and is likely to help streamline the delivery process. It also allows deliveries to be contactless, reducing the risk of a potential COVID breakout.
Labour issues are continuing across the country, with many businesses still searching for operators this harvest season.
We are hearing stories of family members moving back on to the farm for the harvest season due to a lack of available casual labour.
Speaking with growers, finding the right person is hard work but keeping them is key, with the right package and work environment critical for employee retention.
This widespread issue is across most of the agricultural sector, with the knock-on effect hitting the trucking industry.
There has been talks of trucks parked up, as there are no operators available.
This may impact truck availability during the peak of harvest.
Overall, being well prepared in a good timely manner will help reduce stress and breakdowns when the headers start rolling.
Control what you can and try not to stress too much about any issues out of your control.
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