Silver lining in rain clouds
Mill hopeful of good cane yields
MSF Sugar Mulgrave Mill manager Chris Hoare remains optimistic for the upcoming 2018 cane crushing season despite recent heavy rain and floods that damaged crops across the region.
He said, while some growers had been hit hard by the wet weather, others did not experience such a big impact.
The crushing season is expected to start on June 12 for both the Mulgrave and South Johnstone Mills.
“I think they’re quietly optimistic for what seems like a normal season,” he said.
“Cane has been standing in water for a period of time so some areas won’t get as big a big crop.
“But, having said that, there’s some cane around that’s looking very good.”
Mr Hoare said, while the full extent of the damage caused to cane crops was yet to be determined, initial predictions indicated some growers’ yields would be impacted.
“The estimates are still coming in, I don’t have any reports of significant damage,” he said.
“But I think there will be While hopeful for a successful crushing season, Mulgrave Mill manager Chris Hoare says his concern is sugar prices. “I’m looking forward to a positive season, probably the only dampener is the sugar price,” he said. “We have a very profitable farming sector and being a complete export driven industry we rely on the sugar prices. It’s down on previous years … the outlooks are not that great.” some yield reductions and some farms will cut less than last year.
“The general impression is it’s a bit mixed.”
Mr Hoare said regular maintenance work was currently being carried at the Mulgrave Mill ahead of the crush, as well as work to repair cane rail infrastructure that was damaged due to wet weather.
“In terms of infrastructure we’ve had a lot of washout in parts of our cane rail infrastructure and we’re still assessing the damage,” he said.
“Our teams are out repairing lines in certain areas but were very optimistic for the season ahead.
“We’re hoping to have as big a crop as last year, probably what we’re hoping for is a bit less rain during the season, which has affected the last couple of years.
“You do get some rain through the season but you don’t want too much that it stops the harvest.
“Generally you get some in June/July then a bit later in the season you can start to run into storms at the end around October/November.”
Freshwater grower Mark Savina was among those impacted by the recent wet weather with his crop along the Brinsmead-Kamerunga Rd experiencing flooding.
He said the biggest impact going into the 2018 harvest was debris in his cane.
“It’s hard to see the full extent of the damage until you get inside the crop,” he said.
“There’s going to be a lot of rubbish in the cane and it’s going to slow us down during harvest.”
firstname.lastname@example.org facebook.com/TheCairnsPost www.cairnspost.com.au twitter.com/TheCairnsPost
WADING THROUGH: Cane grower Mark Savina examines his debris strewn crop, along the Brinsmead-Kamerunga Rd at Freshwater.