Crushing end to cane season
MOSSMAN Mill will close its doors for the year tomorrow after a frustrating season.
Mackay Sugar Mossman Mill manager Hadyn Slattery said the mill lost a full week of production due to wet weather.
“We’ve had a good season, but unfortunately had to cut it a little bit short due to the weather,” he said.
The final crushing total for the season was approximately 510,000 tonnes, against the expected crop estimate of 540,000.
“Obviously it was significantly lower than expected, this difference is equitable to an extra week’s cutting, but there’s nothing you can do about the weather,” Mr Slattery said.
Cane Sugar Content averaged at 12.9, which was slightly lower than expected.
Mr Slattery is hoping for favourable weather over the coming months to ensure a bumper crop next year.
“We’re hoping for steamy hot weather and lots of rain over the summer months to increase next year’s yield,” he said.
Mossman Canegrowers chairman Drew Watson said it had been a “reasonable year”.
“Last year the CCS was up and tonnage was down, this year tonnage is up and CCS in down,” he said.
“All returns are looking good for next year, but what we must do is work on better production of existing ground, with more planting, more varieties, and continuing to increase staff morale.
“We’ve been getting a fair price and we’re in the black rather than the red, which is positive.”
Mackay Sugar acquired the Mill in a $25.3 million takeover in May, which is proving to deliver an economyboosting expansion for cane growing in the region.
“The takeover has been great for the mill, it has created a real certainty for the future of cane growth in the region, and a huge expansion in land of 400 hectares, meaning an increased projected yield of 60,000 tonnes,” Mr Slattery said.
The mill will now undergo an extensive maintenance program before next season.
Mossman Mill offshoot, Mossman Sugar Company Ltd, which bags food grade sugar under the label Daintree Gold, was also preparing for close of season.
Manager Allan Johnstone said they had bagged 11,000 tonnes of food grade sugar for the season.
“It’s slightly down on expectations as we’ve had to close up a week early, but it’s still good,” he said.
WINDING UP: Mossman Mill’s Des Whitely fills one of the last bags for the season