The estimate for the 2012 crushing season is between 4 – 4.2 million tonnes. There is some really good plant cane out there but there is concern that the ratoon cane will let the crop down, as it is still recovering from major cyclones, major flooding and stool damage from high speed harvesting. In addition, there is concern that some of the newer varieties mightn’t have the weight and may be pithy.
This could change of course if the weather stays fine and we get a decent cold snap, so we can start off with a higher CCS.
Stand out areas in terms of yield are Abergowrie, Lannercost and Halifax. Bambaroo has been struggling this year as the rainfall has been light.
Growers are getting ready to plant but once again the rain has stopped too much from happening.
Precision agriculture is going ahead, but the question is will it increase production and give more bang for the bucks?
Feral pigs are still an ongoing problem however the baiting and trapping programme is having a bit of an impact in some areas.
Grubs are surfacing again and are now showing up as a major concern.
The Productivity Board is in negotiation with the BSES to lease the BSESbuilding in the Herbert for the short to medium term.
Sucrogen Mills have been putting above average capital investment into the mills for the forthcoming season. They assure that they will be making more effort with plant breeding and will be working in collaboration with CSIRO developing new varieties, opening up the old Macknade plant breeding station.
It looks like crushing will commence around the middle of June depending on the weather.