Another positive development for Australian farmers: First ship of corn to Sth Korea from Ord Rvr in WA. Opp time of year to East Coast via Lee Corporal @fa078a2f38c645d Historic shipment for Kimberley's Ord Irrigation Scheme, as corn ship departs Wyndham for South Korea
Around 10,000 tonnes of corn has been shipped out of the remote Kimberley port of Wyndham this week, as part of a new export deal for farmers in the Ord Irrigation Scheme.
The Tao Star was loaded over three and half days in Wyndham and is now en route to South Korea, where the corn will be used in the confectionery market, most likely to be turned into corn chips.
The last crop from the Ord Irrigation Scheme to be exported out of Wyndham was raw sugar back in 2007.
David Cross from the local Ord River District Cooperative (ORDCO) said it was great to have farmers back on the wharf at Wyndham and exporting food.
"This is a significant moment," he told ABC Rural while watching the corn being loaded.
"Albeit a relatively small tonnage and one shipload, it signifies growth and development of the Ord and northern agriculture.
"I see this as a first step in that overall bigger picture [of developing the Ord] and it's exciting."
Mr Cross said ORDCO had purchased new equipment to make sure the corn could be loaded. He said the farming community was hopeful of making this an annual shipment.
Working in partnership with ORDCO has been the New South Wales-based Robinson Grain Trading Company.
Grain trader Trent Robinson said the harvest window for Ord Valley corn was distinctly different to the eastern states of Australia, creating a big export opportunity for Ord growers.
"There's definitely a demand there for exporting corn overseas at this time of the year," he said.
"We have a client in Korea who likes to purchase corn at this time of the year, but with the eastern states he has to buy it in March and carry it through [which costs him money].
"So here in the Ord Valley, they harvest corn in September-October and the timing is just perfect for our client in Korea."
Mr Robinson said it was exciting to be in Wyndham and the Ord irrigation expansion was creating some big opportunities.
"This shipment is going well, the quality seems to be really good and our client should be well and truly happy with it," he said.
"He's there to buy more in years to come, so if we get this one [shipment] away and they're happy with it, it should hopefully be an annual thing."
Watching the Tao Star being loaded with corn, Wyndham Port manager Steve Forrest said it was a welcome site.
"It's great to see a cargo that's come from Ord Stage one and Ord Stage two, it's great to see an agricultural product go out over the port again," he said.
"We've been effected by the mining down-turn here at the port, with our biggest customer, nickel, going into care and maintenance.
"So to be here and see the wharf going flat out and blokes running around doing stuff is great to see."
Mr Forrest said the expansion of the Ord Irrigation Scheme near Kununurra would hopefully benefit Wyndham as well.
"I would hope this current facility won't be big enough to handle the product from Ord Stage One and Two in the future," he said.
"If Ord Stage Two really gets up and running, my guess is this current structure won't be big enough to handle the ships they'll need, in which case we'll need another wharf."Original Articlehttp://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-25/kimberley-corn-ship-departs-wyndham-for-south-korea/8049956?pfmredir=sm