Cane growers in the Plane Creek Mill area will start crushing on June 20 after the proposed date was agreed on by grower representatives and miller Wilmar at a meeting of the Plane Creek Area Committee on Thursday afternoon.
Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg said growers had hoped to start crushing in early June, but Cyclone Debbie had delayed any activity.
“We still don’t have a signed agreement with Wilmar, but providing everything goes smoothly we expect to start on the 20th,” Mr Borg said.
“Agreements between Wilmar and QSL also need to happen before we can finalise a decision.”
A QSL spokesperson said the marketer had met with Wilmar earlier this week regarding an agreement, but talks were continuing. They expect to meet again soon.
Wilmar confirmed Plane Creek growers had an estimated crop of 1.18million tonnes and had budgeted about 19 weeks for crushing.
Plane Creek cane supply manager Tony Marino said this season’s crop was about 12% down on last season’s due to the effects of Cyclone Debbie.
“As always, the planned start date is subject to unforeseen circumstances, such as wet weather,” Mr Marino said.
Mackay Sugar hasn’t confirmed a crushing start date yet, but expects to set a date after meetings to be held over the next two weeks.