Cane crush down

Isis Cen­tral Su­gar Mill pre­dicts low har­vest in 2014

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By JIM ALOUAT Jim.Alouat@news-mail.com.au

Two years af­ter a record crush, Isis Mill is tip­ping a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son for grow­ers:

ONLY two years af­ter a record-break­ing crush Isis Cen­tral Su­gar Mill is pre­par­ing for a dis­ap­point­ing sea­son, with crop ex­pec­ta­tions at just over one mil­lion tonnes.

A record 1.5 mil­lion tonnes was crushed in 2012 and more than 1.1 mil­lion last year.

The mill’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, John Gor­ringe, said the crop es­ti­mate pro­vided by grow­ers was about 1.05 mil­lion tonnes for 2014.

“That is well down on aver­age yield,” he said

“We are fore­cast­ing 68 tonnes to the hectare and have been se­verely im­pacted by the drought that oc­curred over Christ­mas through to April.

“It was only two years ago we had our record har­vest of 1.5 mil­lion tonnes and 96 tonnes to the hectare.”

Mr Gor­ringe said the crush start date had also been de­layed un­til July 14.

“That will help the su­gar con­tent in­crease,” he said.

“It is about try­ing to op­ti­mise the su­gar con­tent for our grow­ers.”

Mr Gor­ringe said the crush­ing sea­son was likely to be about 18 weeks and, if the cal­cu­la­tions were cor­rect, the crush­ing should ter­mi­nate in mid-Novem­ber.

“With less vol­ume go­ing through the mill there’s fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions for us and ob­vi­ously less rev­enue for grow­ers,” he said

“We are look­ing for­ward to the weather gods be­ing kind to us and a sub­stan­tial in­crease in next year’s vol­ume.”

In brighter news for the mill, the over­pass on the Isis Hwy be­tween Hen­drick­sens and Haps­burgs Rds has been com­pleted so there will be no more ac­ci­dents there be­tween cane trains and ve­hi­cles. “This par­tic­u­lar rail cross­ing for the Isis Hwy has had a his­tory of se­ri­ous in­ci­dents,” Mr Gor­ringe said.

“By con­tribut­ing to this over­pass we have elim­i­nated this haz­ard.”

Mr Gor­ringe en­cour­aged the com­mu­nity to be ex­tra vig­i­lant re­gard­ing cane trains dur­ing the crush sea­son. Mem­ber for Bur­nett Stephen Ben­nett said con­struc­tion of the 3.6km re­align­ment be­gan in Fe­bru­ary 2013 and was com­pleted by Fe­bru­ary this year at a cost of $17 mil­lion.

“Lo­cal com­mu­nity groups as well as cane and truck­ing in­dus­tries reg­u­larly ex­pressed safety con­cerns about the high­way’s orig­i­nal align­ment,” he said.

Fund­ing of the works was pro­vided un­der the nat­u­ral dis­as­ter re­lief and re­cov­ery ar­range­ments scheme.

The re­main­der was funded in Queens­land’s trans­port and roads in­vest­ment pro­gram.

PHOTO: ZACH HOGG

SAFETY FIRST: Isis Cen­tral Su­gar Mill CEO John Gor­ringe says the re­cently con­structed over­pass on the Isis Hwy will make it safer for the com­mu­nity.

PHOTO: ZACH HOGG BUN200614OVR2

The view from the over­pass on the Isis Hwy be­tween Childers and Bund­aberg.

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