UPDATE: Proserpine Mill will begin it’s 2016 crush later on this morning, after rain delayed it’s scheduled start date of June 14.
Once it is running, it will be the first time this year Mackay’s five sugar mills are all operating.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY: Plane Creek Mill’s crushing season is back on track, with operations resuming today after a 10-day rain delay.
Harvesting recommenced in parts of the Sarina district yesterday.
Plane Creek Cane Supply Manager Tony Marino said the combined total of cane supply from yesterday and today was expected to be close to 8000 tonnes.
“Ground conditions are still challenging in some areas,” he said.
“We don’t expect to achieve full cane supply before the weekend, at the earliest.
“It’s good to be crushing again and, hopefully, the weather remains fine.”
The first harvesting of Proserpine’s 2016 season is set to start tomorrow. Proserpine Mill will commence crushing on Friday.
EARLIER: Sugar mills across the region should be back in business by Friday.
Following widespread rain, Mackay Sugar’s Farleigh, Racecourse and Marian mills were shutdown last Monday, June 20.
Wilmar’s Plane Creek mill ran for only two days, from June 16, before rain also halted operations, while their Proserpine Mill has yet to begin the 2016 crush.
In Mackay Sugar’s crushing summary for the week ending June 26, it stated that wet field conditions had resulted in 150 hours of cane supply shortfalls.
But general manager milling operations Terry Doolan said Racecourse and Farleigh started up again yesterday, while Marian was expected to join them this afternoon.
“Now mill availability, which hasn’t been the best and crushing rates also have to improve,” Mr Doolan said.
Wilmar Sugar cane supply and grower relations general manager Paul Giordani said sufficient cane supply was expected to be available for Plane Creek Mill to resume crushing tomorrow.
Proserpine was expected to commence Friday.
“Provided the weather is favourable, cane supply should continue to build later in the week,” Mr Giordani said.
“Plane Creek Mill had settled well prior to the rain delay, so we’re hopeful of a smooth resumption to crushing.”
The weather delays are expected to impact potential finish dates in both regions.
“Both Proserpine Mill and Plane Creek Mill were originally budgeted to finish crushing in early November,” Mr Giordani said.
“That’s now more likely to be mid-November – provided there are no more significant season disruptions.
“Hopefully, both mills will be crushing by the end of the week and we can start to make some good in-roads into clearing this year’s crops.”