Grain harvest management scheme for NSW

NSW Farmers today welcomed the establishment of a grain harvest management scheme in NSW announced by Roads Minister Duncan Gay.

NSW Farmers spokesperson Bill McDonnell said this is something that will make a huge difference to grain farmers across the state providing flexibility of up to 5 percent over general mass limits for both gross vehicle mass and axle group masses.

Bill McDonnell said it was almost impossible to know with any accuracy the weight of a truck when it leaves the farm during harvest.

“This scheme will provide farmers with the confidence to load to the current legal limits knowing that if they go marginally over they will not be penalised,” Mr McDonnell said.

Some councils were still deciding on whether to participate in the scheme which required the consent of each individual local government area.

Mr McDonnell said some councils feared the scheme would lead to increased truck weights.

“But just as it is nearly impossible to accurately guess the legal weight limits, it is equally impossible to try and load trucks to exactly 5 percent overweight,” he said.

“Drivers will have to load to the current legal weight limits with the 5 percent used as flexibility.”

Some 27 councils have signed up to the scheme mostly in the centre of the state. Councils in the Riverina area are yet to sign up and Moree, Wentworth, Murray, Berrigan and Corowa have all declined to participate disadvantaging grain farmers and grain handlers in their area.

ABARES NSW winter crop forecast for 2013/14 is 10.4 million tonnes, a 5 percent fall from last year’s harvest. The summer crop forecast is for 2.8 million tonnes which is  6 percent higher than last year’s harvest.

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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