LAST year's disastrous rain-affected grain harvest has spurred a phenomenal spate of investment by Australian growers.
Grain growers have spent tens of millions of dollars on new harvesters, farm silos and handling equipment to harvest the crop as quick as possible.
There has now been a surge in growers forming co-operatives to build their own bunker storages across Victoria and NSW.
The industry has somewhat come full circle, as farmers began building the silos in the late 1930s under the umbrella of the Grain Elevators Board.
Ironically, farmers now find themselves in the same shoes as their forefathers, building their own storages.
It's all about taking control of their own destinies.
With the big bulk handlers holding substantial carryover grain stocks from last harvest and growers wanting to get their crops harvested and stored quickly, lengthy turnaround times for trucks carting grain to storages was inevitable.
Growers could invest in farm storage, but it was far cheaper to combine resources to build bulk storages to serve a wider interest, such as those at Boort and Werneth in Victoria and Tabbita in NSW.
Moulamein Grain Co-operative, which manages many of the new storage sites that have sprung up in the past decade, says deregulation of the wheat industry is partly responsible for growers building their own bulk storages.
It says growers want more control over marketing of their crop and have cut out the middlemen to deal directly with end users.
It predicts more grain storages being built by grower co-operatives during the next decade.
While private investment by farmers and grain companies to improve grain logistics has been massive during the past year, it is now the turn of governments.
The efficient movement of grain to port falls in the bailiwick of state governments.
Victorian growers eagerly await the report by the Victorian Government's Grains Logistics Taskforce, due in the coming weeks.