The annual sugar cane crushing is underway at MSF Sugar’s Maryborough Mill.
Although significant rainfall delayed the start by a week, crushing is going according to plan.
MSF Sugar general manager Maryborough region Stewart Norton said growing conditions for season had been good up until the April and May dry spell which halted the growing to some extent.
He said that the crop picked up with rain since June and that, provided the winter was mild, higher tonnage could result.
“At this stage, we estimate about 770,000 tonnes of cane will be crushed at Maryborough Mill by mid-November, lower than last year’s crush of 861,000 tonnes,” Mr Norton said.
“If the crop continues to grow through what has been a milder winter, it is possible higher tonnage could result.
“Sugar prices are good and it is an advantage to growers to provide as much can as they can grow.
“Good quality cane means good quality raw sugar – the cane we are receiving is high quality which makes it easier for the factory to process the sugar.”
The outlook for a possible wetter season in spring could delay harvesting but this was an issue to be faced if and when it occurred.
Cane for crushing will be sourced from the Fraser Coast region and the Sunshine Coast.
The Maryborough region has about 100 sugar cane growers supplying the mill.
Best modern farming practices including trash blanketing, wide row spacing, minimum tillage and controlled traffic farming techniques are utilised at around 60 per cent of the farms.
Mr Norton said the Maryborough Mill, which operates on a 24/7 basis during the crushing, was performing well due to targeted maintenance and capital works.
“We have had a promising start to the season and we expect this to continue right through until mid-November,” Mr Norton said.
The story Maryborough starts crushing first appeared on Queensland Country Life.