Cane Season Sweet So Far

11th September 2017

Cane Season Sweet So Far

The 2017 NSW cane season is progressing well with just over 40% of the 2 million tonne crop harvested, as of the first week in September. 

A wet start in June created some difficult conditions for both the harvesting and milling sectors.  However, the cane quality improved with cool, dry conditions bringing CCS (sugar content) and cane purity back to favorable levels.

Already this year, some newer cane varieties have shown their potential, with Q208 a stand-out plant that is delivering excellent yields and sugar content across the three mill areas.

Mr Chris Connors, CEO of Sunshine Sugar remarked; “The resilience of the sugar cane crop and the people involved in the industry continues to surprise and delight. The crops in the Tweed are showing strong recovery despite the catastrophic flood in April; and whilst growers and harvesting crews have had to deal with huge amounts of flood debris lodged in the cane, they have managed to keep supply up to the mill.”

As is the case in many flood affected cane areas of Queensland, it is only through the burning of crops that much of this debris can be accessed and removed.

The mill at Condong, which also suffered flood damage, has performed well. Mr Connors puts this down to the efforts of employees and contractors involved in its repair and recommissioning.

To the south, the expansion into areas of the Richmond west of the Broadwater mill, towards Casino, is seeing good cane yields and excellent cane quality. This is a strong endorsement of the potential the area has as a viable cane growing region. The Broadwater mill has consistently performed well this year and is keeping up with the harvesting sector as they take advantage of the good field conditions. 

Despite Harwood mill suffering some mechanical issues during the first part of the season, the Clarence crush is back on track and anticipated to finish in the first week of December.

As the extended dry period enables the harvesting sector to maintain momentum - some Spring rain will soon be welcome as growers look to begin planting new crops and fertilizing their ratoons.

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