Well what a difference 12 months can make. This time last year we were paddling around in water and wondering if we would ever get back onto our paddocks to do any work.
Although we had 350mm of rain for December, the start of 2012 has seen one of our driest January’s for a long while. Local farmers have taken advantage of the recent dry weather and continued their weed management programs. Vine control and spraying out fallow blocks seem to be the main projects on the agenda.
If we can continue receiving this favourable weather for a few more months and not suffer any natural disasters, the signs are definitely there for the Mossman region to harvest a better than average crop in 2012. It is still very early days but I am hopeful of a crop around the high 500,000t.
Local growers are also reminded that a Species Management Plan for rodent control has again commenced and will provide growers with better options to control rats in cane crops and surrounding harbourage areas. The baiting window is from October 1st through to the end of June. This baiting window gives growers the opportunity to effectively bait the climbing rat which can often cause problems between March and June. Under the plan a grower is required to ensure an integrated approach with effective weed control in both crop and harbourage. They must assess the extent of any rat problem before baiting and only bait with registered baits within label restrictions.
Right across the sugar the industry the effects of the last few years have taken its toll on growers and we only hope that 2012 is the year where everything turns around and we can try and get back to some normality.