Cane grow­ers miss out on record prices

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALL­BONE

THE record-break­ing wet weather dur­ing the sugar cane sea­son has pre­vented lo­cal farm­ers and the Moss­man Cen­tral Mill from tak­ing ad­van­tage of the great sugar prices.

Farm­ers stopped crush­ing cane on Satur­day 13 and in com­par­i­son to 2009 the farm­ers had crushed a sig­nif­i­cantly higher amount of cane.

Chair­man of the Moss­man Cen­tral Mill Com­pany Bill Phillips-Turner said that in com­par­i­son to last year, the weather con­di­tions have been ex­tremely dif­fi­cult and farm­ers faced the most dis­rup­tive sea­son in al­most 36 years.

“The har­vest­ing con­di­tions were very dif­fi­cult this year and the com­mer­cially re­cov­er­able sugar con­tent in the sugar cane was very low,” he said.

“Last year we crushed 468 000 tonnes of cane and this year we did 539 000 tonnes but there was less sugar in the cane.”

Even though farm­ers were about to crush more cane than last year, be­cause the amount of sugar in the cane was low, they were un­able to take ad­van­tage of the great sugar price, which is the high­est it has been in decades.

Mr Phillips-Turner said that this year’s sea­son may af­fect next year’s har­vest­ing sea­son how­ever farm­ers in the Moss­man district were for­tu­nate to crush all of their cane.

“Some dis­tricts won’t be able to crush all of their crops this year so we are lucky that the Moss­man district has crushed vir­tu­ally ev­ery stick of cane,” he said.

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