Around 10,000 tonnes of corn is due to be shipped out of Wyndham in the coming months, as part of a new export deal for farmers in the Kimberley’s Ord Irrigation Scheme.
The crop is currently being harvested and is destined to end up on the dinner plates of consumers in South Korea. Fritz Bolten is working on the corn harvest in the newly-developed lands of Ord Stage Two, and said the crop was significant for a number of reasons.
“We’re exporting a crop out of Wyndham for the first time in about 10 years, so we think that’s very significant,” he said.
“The transport coordination of getting this bulk product off the paddock, from several farms, and to the storage shed at Wyndham has been fantastic, and just the way the whole community has worked together to make this happen has been really positive.
The last crop from the Ord Irrigation Scheme to be exported out of Wyndham was raw sugar back in 2007. Mr Bolten said it would be an exciting day for the region to see a ship at Wyndham being loaded with Ord Valley corn. He said the Ord Irrigation Scheme was increasingly exporting products to international customers, albeit not always out of Wyndham.
“We’re really the world hub for chia production and have kickstarted the chia industry, which gets exported [to markets including the US, Europe and Asia],” he said.
Mr Bolten said farmers were hopeful the corn contract would be ongoing.
“We hope this will be a long-term venture and we can hopefully utilise those export facilities [at Wyndham] for a lot longer,” he said.