So we have come to the end of one of the worst harvesting seasons in living memory. Well we think so anyway! NSW still has about 200,000 tons on the books to be cut at the time as of 8 December and although some of it probably will be cut, I will be very surprised with the way the weather is that much of it will be.
There will be quite a large amount of three year old cane spread across the three rivers in NSW. On the Tweed most of this is in the wettest paddocks so it was by passed by each time the harvester came to cut, hoping for dryer condition on the next round. That dryer weather did not come!
While some cane was planted and the odd paddock looks good, they are very few and far between. I think now that the window of opportunity for planting has well and truly closed in NSW.
The Clarence did not plant much cane at all, while on the Richmond some growers planted about 50% of what they wanted.
The Tweed planted about 60% of available ground, some was lost to wet weather and was then replanted. That cane, while so small, may once again be in danger as local flooding takes place.
Each year many growers try to plant their soy crop during this week and the next, as a rule. This has not happened this year for the reasons stated above, and as one grower said to me yesterday, we are 6 weeks behind and not looking like catching up.
I guess we need to be optimistic about next year, and do the best we can as growers, is my advice. The indicators for pricing for next year are not all negative.
Have a merry Christmas and let us all hope that 2011 is a much better and brighter one for us all.