In my last report I said we needed to get this crop off so we can start to rebuild the industry in NSW.
The soy bean harvest has finished and although the tonnage of beans per hectare was poor it did help the cash flow for those who were lucky enough to have some to harvest.
We are getting the cane crop off, the weather was initially kind so far with Condong mill reaching the half way point by mid-August – then came the rain!
Condong has a very poor crop although the saving grace for the co-op is the much better crops at the Richmond and Clarence . They are both harvesting a reasonable two year old crop with some of the cane harvesting above estimate.
Both the Richmond and Clarence will hit the wall with a very small ( two year old) crop estimated for 2012. Both areas are looking to build on the harvest with around 150,000 tons of one year cane, which is around double the amount of one year old they usually harvest.
The one year old cane at Condong is going about 70% of estimate and with all things being equal it will be a very early finish.
I must say that moral is high. I guess it is because the early season sunshine allowed us to work with 20 or so planters in the field ( we do not normally start planting until the last week in August to the first week in September).
The soil structure may have been damaged during the constant rain as it is only taking 20ml of rain to stop the harvest and paddocks are staying wetter for much longer.
The variety Q208 is now showing its quality as a variety in NSW with all available material being earmarked for plants, along with Q235 which is also looking good.
We are in the process of confirming a planting loan scheme for the growers .The Milling Co-op will loan growers $1,000 per hectare at an interest rate of 7% to be repaid from the crop as it is harvested over the next two crops, from the planted land.
While not as good as the grant initially sought from the Government, the scheme has been embraced by all growers; some who would not have been able to plant at all without this assistance.
This scheme will shorten the recovery of the NSW industry by two to three years and for some it will give them a future that they would otherwise have.
Last week there were still many growers saying, “I can’t afford to plant!” This week they are saying, “Yes I can”.
NSW Sugar is on the way back with a vigour that I have not seen for many years.