Crushing commenced in the Herbert on the 23rd June. The official estimate for the district is 3.1million tonnes. There are signs of optimism in the district as some farmers believe the official estimate to be understated; however, it is a difficult call as there is quite a lot of smut in some paddocks, so only time will tell.
A critical issue for the mill is the standover blocks and Sucrogen is asking farmers to initially harvest some 1-year cane, where possible, to mix with the standover cane, in order to get enough bagasse fuel for the boilers.
A 19 megawatt co generation alternator powered by renewable energy will be on line within the first month of the crushing and will be feeding into the electricity grid. If this is successful then another co-generation plant will be put into the mill at a later date.
While the weather has taken a turn for the better farmers are out preparing their ground for planting, with parts of the district looking quite good, at present.
There is a question mark over the quality of seed that some farmers are using and care needs to be taken when selecting planting material