I have indicated in earlier reports that the crops at Condong Broadwater and Harwood are all up on last season. The main focus of the industry now is to get the production back to over the 2 million tonne mark. This is quite achievable as records show from several years ago.
With the increase in cane prices and growers having money now to spend on fertilizer and other necessary inputs, all looks well for the future.
There is a lot of arrowing in NSW this year at all mill areas. This is something we do not have to deal with very often, and it can reduce production markedly in two year old cane.
Growers are being advised to check crops for ‘blind arrows’ as well as they can also effect production.
Wet weather continues to hold up harvesting from time to time and although we have wet weather harvesting equipment, the mud levels in wet conditions are difficult for the mills to deal with.
Condong growers are working with mill management on a further trial to establish the level of trash that can be handled (crushing without loss of sugar). At present we are delivering around 50% trash. This is being achieved by minimal topping of the crop and running extractors at 800-900 RPM. The aim is to deliver around 100,000 tonnes of cane to the mill to establish once and for all what can be achieved.
On a personal note, I have had a lot of over seas visitors to the farm, during the last month. These have come from Finland, a group from the World soils congress and two groups from Indonesia as well as P R China.
The NSW Cane Growers’ Council hosted the Indonesian millers from Java representing 14 mills. Over two days, they visited the Rogers farm in NSW, Condong Mill, and Industry and Investment NSW at Wollongbar to discuss with researchers their work on bio char. They also visited David Bartlett’s at Condong as well as my place.
The Chinese were here to find out more about the Plant Stone Technology and how claiming carbon credits/offsets may occur from that technology.