It started in early May when Mossman growers found out that we had been bought out by Mackay Sugar, albeit with a few conditions. Mackay Sugar has successfully acquired the milling and related assets of Mossman Central Mill for $25.3 million, with the transaction completed on the 4th June.
The transaction involved Mackay Sugar issuing approximately $12 million in Mackay Sugar shares to Mossman Central Mill, and assuming their $13 million debt. The shares, which amount to approximately 3.3 per cent of the issued capital of Mackay Sugar, will be held by Mossman Central Mill.
The news was welcomed by most growers and it now takes away the uncertainty of the future of Mossman Mill. There is a buzz around town as growers move forward to take the appropriate steps to improve their farms to make the most of a decent price and a secure future.
The other issue that growers in the north have had to deal with in recent times is an unseasonal rain event that have postponed any chance of Mossman growers getting any planting done before the season.
Mareeba’s start has also been affected by the rain with the 2012 crush starting on Tuesday the 29th of May to a wet start. Mareeba’s estimate has come in around 630 000t
In late May the northern region has received more than 400mm in some areas and this rain is sure to have some effect to the start of the 2012 crush on the coast.
Most Coastal mills were due to start in early June, but this will now more likely be late June. The Mossman Mill was due to start on the 13th of June but has now been postponed till the 18th of June.
The Mossman Mills final grower estimate has come in around 540 000t and I am confident that this is close to the mark. The total are to be harvested is 7106ha with 1551ha of this as plant cane. I do however have my doubts on CCS with this late rain sure to bring the CCS down.
When this year’s planting programs get underway, Q208 is shaping to be the dominate variety that will be planted by most growers. Growers are also encouraged to have their planting material checked for RSD. Please ask your local Productivity Board for an appointment were they can come and check your plants with your assistance. Please remember that results take at least two weeks to come back.
It has also been a busy time for our contractors with all harvesters and haul out equipment close to readiness for the 2012 season.
I would like to remind and encourage growers to participate in this year’s Mossman Next Generation Cane display to be held at the Mossman Show. Growers are invited to deliver cane to be judged on the Saturday morning of the show. With significant money on offer, it is well worth the effort. For more information please give me a call on 0428 988 136.
Hopefully the weather will be kind to us this year, with forecasters now leaning towards a more average weather pattern for the remained of the 2012 season.
Let’s hope that the worst of the weather is behind us and we all have a safe crush.