Cane growers miss out on record prices
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.