Mackay mills are due to start harvesting in mid-June. The crop size at this stage is disappointing at an estimated 5 million tons. There is hope that the crop can grow out some more with some good favourable weather conditions. After the good rainfall during April, the crop has had good growing conditions and has improved somewhat.
Ag Trade Life Show two day event was held on the 8th and 9th May after been postponed due to very wet weather conditions in April. The event was well attended. This event has replaced the BSES field day which was traditionally held about the third week in May. The Ag Show was held on the revamped Mackay Show ground development. There is a covered area of about 4,000 sq. meters of which about half is indoors.
Mackay Sugar and the Tableland Canegrowers entered into a supply agreement on 17th April. Approximately 700,000 tonnes of cane being supplied from the Atherton Tablelands will end up at the Mossman Mill from 2014.
In response to an approach by the Tablelands Canegrowers, Mackay Sugar has agreed to accept the cane for crushing at its Mossman Mill. As part of this agreement, the sugar produced from this cane will be marketed through the industry export marketing body, Queensland Sugar Limited.
The additional tonnage to be delivered to the Mossman Mill will require the mill to move from a 5-day week crushing program to a continuous crushing program over a longer season. Mackay Sugar will upgrade Mossman Mill as part of its overall milling operations capital and maintenance program in 2013 and 2014, delivering increased plant reliability and the capacity to handle the additional tonnage. This will require capital expenditure of approximately $4 million on the mill and transport infrastructure.
The Mackay region’s farming excellence was showcased on Friday night (12 April), when Mackay Sugar held its annual Productivity Awards at Mackay’s St Patrick’s Hall. About 400 people attended the event, with more than 30 awards presented to farmers from within the Mackay Sugar cane supply network. Landline’s Pip Courtney gave an address on Farm Succession from her experiences visiting family farms while working for the Program.
For more than 25 years, Mackay Sugar has held the awards which, according to Mackay Sugar Chairman Andrew Cappello, remain a significant corporate activity for the company.
“Mackay Sugar appreciates the importance of acknowledging those that have achieved outstanding results in farm productivity within our region, as it is people like these that assist us in growing a strong future for our local sugar industry.
“This year’s award recipients exemplify the innovation and dedication that sustains our local sugar industry,” Mr Cappello said.
Weather has hindered farmers who plant early. Without having any big falls, the conditions have remained wet from persistent showers.