Tracking a bumper crop to port


With the bumper 2017 harvest almost over, 14 permanent Viterra Tailem Bend staff, working Monday to Friday (Sometimes around the clock) with the help of ten periodically casual staff, maintain, manage and move growers produce to domestic and export markets throughout the year.

With many early starts, receiving and transporting grain from all over the district, the Tailem Bend team are constantly grading and checking the quality of their grain, double checking their operations, weighing small and large growers in and out – their all welcome at Viterra Tailem Bend.

As the following images illustrate, there’s a lot more happening behind the scenes, from unloading and moving grain from bunkers to transport, there’s huge rail storage facilities that need to be filled and fumigate all year round – until the next harvest arrives.

There’s thousands of internal transfers from bunker to rail storage with even more internal quality control checks before 80% of the grain leaves via rail for it’s destination.

Every morning –

20170213_glenn-power_viterra_tailem_bend_s-6164Viterra Tailem Bend, Operations Manager, John Rathjen of Milendella, conducting his routine morning briefing before work begins at Viterra’s Tailem Bend bulk grain storage and handling facility on Granite Road, Tailem Bend.

One of many this year –


Viterra, General Hand, Lester Schubert of Coomandook, standing in front of farmer, Bob Beelitz of Parrakie’s old International, Perkins Diesel as it arrives at Viterra’s Tailem Bend eastern region storage and handling facility.

They keep coming –


Viterra, Classifier, Thomas Wagenknecht of Tepko, probing an incoming load of grain for use as a quality control classification core sample.

Sample after sample –


Viterra, Classifier, Alysha Eckert a third harvest, Architecture University Student of Meningie, checking another probing sample for contamination levels.

Many hands make light work –


Viterra, Classifier, Sophie Stiller a fourth harvest Education University Student of Murray Bridge, conducting an additional bulk sample testing of grain for potential contamination.

Local keeping a keen eye on operations –


Viterra Tailem Bend, 2IC, Troy Merritt of Tailem Bend, keeping a close eye on weighbridge operations as the 2017 harvest draws to a close and train / road transferring begins.

Local weighing in –


Viterra, Inward Weighbridge Operator, Victor Sonenko a six harvest veteran of Tailem Bend, weighing in Bob Beelitz of Parrakie’s gross load/vehicle weight before unloading at a designated storage bunker.

Small and large growers, all welcome –

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Farmer, Bob Beelitz of Parrakie preparing his truck for unloading at his designated Tailem Bend storage bunker.

 Unloading –


Viterra, Drive Over Operator, Luke Docking of Cooke Plains unloading Bob Beelitz’s grain for transfer via auger to the top of his customers nominated bunker storage area.

 Moving grain to storage bunkers –


Viterra, Auger Operator, Jim Blount of McLaren Vale, ensuring the handling of Bob Beelitz’s grain safely reaches the customers chosen storage bunker.

 Fumigation and ongoing management of stock –


Viterra, Auger Operator, Jim Blount of McLaren Vale, keeping his distance from recently fumigated storage bunkers as others bunkers are being preparing to be uncovered for rail transport.

Preparing for internal transfer to rail storage –


Viterra, afternoon Bunker Crew Member, Brittany Hancock a recently graduated Ag Science University Student of Narrung, preparing to join her crew to remove, yet another, heavy Bunker Tarp for grain to be accesses for rail transportation.

 Internal transfer quality control –


Viterra, Classifier, Thomas Wagenknecht of Tepko, checking internal transportation for possible contamination before inner rail transfers can progress.

Internal transfer vehicles checked, now to load for rail transfer –


Viterra’s third harvest Bunker Crew Member, Stephen Gardner of Tailem Bend, taking a short break between uncovering storage bunkers as grain is transferred to internal transport for movement to train storage facilities on site.

Preparation for rail transfer –

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Viterra’s internal rail transfer transport arrives at Shed Block Three, Road Grid Operators, Dean Baumgurtel of Murray Bridge and Darryl Stubbs of Keppa (Between Tailem Bend and Murray Bridge) station in preparation for next weeks train transfer.

Load after load transferred from bunker to rail storage/transportation –

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Viterra, Road Grid Operators, Dean Baumgurtel of Murray Bridge and Darryl Stubbs of Keppa taking a short break between internal transfers as another truck leaves their station.

Preparing for bulk rail transfer storage –


Viterra, General Hand, Lester Schubert of Coomandook, inspecting Shed Block Three for cleanliness in preparation for next weeks train transfer. Due to a bumper 2017 harvest, external contractors are preparing seven additional culverts for Viterra Tailem Bend’s ten new grain storage bunkers.

The man with the reins –


Viterra Tailem Bend’s, hands-on Operations Manager, John Rathjen of Milendella, west of Mannun, is looking forward to helping his team load 3,400 tons of grain Monday morning for transportation to Outer Harbour – and there’s many loads to follow.

Rail Loading –


Filling 68 tons of grain per wagon, grain leaves Viterra Tailem Bend with up to five engines, pulling and slowing, 50 wagons at a time as transport takes four hours to Outer Harbour – from filling to destination – rail is by far the most cost effective transport for bulk grain.

Don’t want to feed the birds too much –


Viterra Tailem Bend’s 3IC, Daniell Kissel of Strathalbyn, carefully checking the closure of wagon bottom doors before they depart Viterra Tailem Bend on their four hour destination to Outer Harbour.



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