The sun has been shining on the crop in NSW for the last couple of week something we have not had for some time.
While the crop is not great it is (what survived the floods) very healthy and will give growers a much needed income in 2012.
The prospects for 2012 while not as good as we would have hoped will be the basis for a recovery in 2013, with the two southern mills having very large areas of stand over already allocated for harvest in 2013.
A few of the crops of soy beans have survived the floods, even though they were under water for some days and the harvest of these paddocks has already begun.
Of the fields that had total losses, some of these were replanted very late. This will be used for nitrogen input into the plant cane crops that will follow.
There are still ongoing talks on the Tweed about harvester group amalgamation. We can only hope that these talks come to some thing, as harvester security may otherwise be a problem in the future; with not enough harvesters to supply the mills requirement for each and every hour of the day.
The Richmond and Clarence will be facing the same problems that the Tweed faced last year with a lot of area to be harvested and very little crop coming off the fields. One harvesting group cut 300,000 tons last year and will harvest 100,000 this year from a similar area. The economics of this will have an enormous impact.
The orange rust in Q208 must be of concern to all Australian cane growers. I believe that the recommendation from BSES that growers should consider restricting their planting to any one variety of no more than 40% of their farm is excellent advice. I think we can all recall what happened to Q124.
NSW will have at least five new varieties to be released this year. Hopefully this will help with raising our production levels back to historic heights.
NSW was very proud to host the AGM of ACFA this year following the GIVE conference in Yamba. Our chair Don Murday gave a very comprehensive report on industry matters to the meeting and has been re-elected unopposed as Chair.
I wish all growers a successful harvest and although it may not be as we would wish, it is what we have, and let us hope that the season will be kind to us so we can have better returns in 2013.