RAIN and machinery maintenance has halted the sugar cane harvest and the crushing of the cane billets at Mackay Sugar’s Mossman Mill.
There are 13 cane harvesters working in the region harvesting this season’s sugar cane crop but last Friday all of the harvesters and the support vehicles had to stop work due to the extremely wet paddocks.
Operations manager of the mill Haydn Slattery said it was too wet for the heavy machinery to get into the paddocks.
“Being this wet, if we sent in the machines they would just be bogged and also the amount of mud and rubbish being picked up by the harvesters is not ideal,” Mr Slattery said. STILL pouring over your masterpiece to meet tomorrow’s deadline for the Gazette/ Reef Writers short story and poetry competition?
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“As much as we want to keep the machines out in the crops harvesting, the downtime has also allowed us to carry out much-needed maintenance on some of our mill crushing equipment.
“We’ve had damage caused to some of our rollers due to the amount of mud and rubbish that has been picked due to the wet conditions but these should be repaired by Monday to coincide with the harvesters due to start work again.”
Meanwhile, 72,900 tonnes of cane has so far been harvested and crushed at the mill which is slightly up on last year’s figure according to Mr Slattery and the CCS level is at 11.9, down slightly when in the first week of the harvest the figure was 12.1.
The best entries in the various categories will win vouchers from Whileaway book store on Macrossan St and will have their work published in the Gazette.
For more information on how to enter the competition, see page 36 of today’s Gazette.