District CCS began poorly, rising to an average of 12.7 over the district, to date (23 June). The total crush over the four Burdekin mills, to date, is in excess of 400,000 tonnes.
The Australian Cane Farmers Association Collective met ahead of the season to finalise negotiation issues for the Cane Supply Agreement for 2010 and to discuss relevant issues.
The commencement of the 2010 harvest, with only interim contracts in place for all collectives, again confirms the failure of the so-called “deregulation” process put in place by the Queensland government. Cane farmers are again supplying the 2010 harvest with the prospect of no bargaining power to negotiate a fair contract as their bargaining power has already been signed away under the interim agreements.
With cane continuing to be harvested, the whole process is shown up as a complete farce. It is now immaterial to CSR/Sucrogen whether they continue negotiations, or whether the grower bodies approve the generic agreements that CSR/Sucrogen have submitted to them. District collective groups or individual growers have little difference between agreements and suffer the same difficulties in their negotiations for proposed changes.
The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Cane Farmers Association, Burdekin Branch has overwhelmingly supported the re-election of Frank Scarabel as Chairman, Ian Shepherdson as Secretary and has elected Enzo Arboit as Vice-Chairman for the coming year.
Discussion centred around the QCA review of water prices and members resolved to form an Australian Cane Farmers Association water committee to represent growers’ interests across the state, on irrigation issues. Membership would be paid at 1cent per tonne and membership would be extended to both members and non-members alike. A membership form has been drawn up and is now available from the local director, Margaret Menzel.
Burdekin Productivity Services has advised growers to ensure that all hygiene procedures are followed with machinery movements and planting and harvesting equipment, within and between farms. Failure to follow the procedures can be a costly exercise – prevention is still better than cure.
Advice from Burdekin Productivity Services has confirmed that “Q183 continues to exhibit good field tolerance to smut under heavy infestation pressure on the BSES research farm in the Bundaberg region. BSES intends to trial Tellus under similar conditions in the near future.”
Growers are advised that the Reef Wise compliance record books are now available for use. Reef Rescue grant recipients for Round 2 should have completed a Farm Productivity Assessment (FPA), the 6 easy steps and chemical accreditation courses. I recently held a workshop for growers to complete their FPA on 25th May at the Synergy Offices in Queen Street, Ayr. Dave Millard conducted the course and it received a ‘thumbs up’ from all participating growers. Further courses can be held if required by contacting me on 0407 779 700.
Growers have requested more workshops to discuss industry events and requirements as a group environment provides an ideal avenue for discussion and response to any difficulties encountered by the participants.
Burdekin Director & Jnr Vice-Chair,
Australian Cane Farmers Association.