Both plant and ratoon crops are looking good. The newer varieties are performing well, so far, as rain has fallen at the right time. Farmers have been making use of a stretch of dry weather to complete farming operations and conduct major works on fallow blocks.
Tully farmers cashed up from the sale of their shares have been buying and redeveloping the MIS forestry blocks. Some farmers have also bought Tableland farms to transfer their banana plantations away from the wind prone coast and return the coastal paddocks to sugar cane. This is good news for productivity and maximising the crop under a good price – two essential criteria that do not often align.
The Diuron ban has caused a loss of efficiency as the optimum timing of application has been skewed; the flexibility for risk management reduced and costs increased, as alternative treatments are more costly