Looking back to my district report for June, 2010, I am disappointed to note that while mill performance is as poor as last year’s, ccs levels are worse for the same period, in 1 year cane (not just in the standover results). Approx. 45,000 tonnes to date has recorded less than 7ccs and the district average ccs was recorded at 10.78 over a weekly crush of approx 254,000tonnes, totalling around 805,000 tonnes for the season up to 16 June. KQ228 and Q208 standover are still performing poorly in ccs levels, with Q183 and Q171 giving farmers significantly better results.
After just a few weeks, the estimate has been raised to over 10 million tonnes and the season length has already blown out to mid to late December, sparing rain…who are we kidding? This effectively means farmers are likely to be facing another year of standover cane.Another body-blow to local farmers was the announcement on water pricing, hot on the heels of QCA meetings and ‘investigations’ into fairer water pricing…but ahead of any reporting outcomes. Since the Queensland Competition Authority report is still not completed, farmers could be forgiven for their justifiable indignation and distaste at the recent announcement by the state government corporation, SUNWATER’s announcement of a $2 per megalitre +CPI increase in the price of irrigation water across the state.
This is poor judgement from the state government regarding the hardship faced by farmers after Cyclone Yasi and more than a year of flooding rains and ongoing mill performance issues. With local farmers already faced with massive water bills, for unused water during periods of flooding, the state government has a responsibility to provide justification for these increases and for their lack of reasonable support for primary industries after the recent hardships endured by farmers across the state.