Early estimates for the South Johnstone area are 1.43 million tonnes, with 1.23 million tonnes to be crushed at South Johnson mill and the balance to be sent to Mulgrave mill.
Mulgrave’s estimate is 1.2 million tonnes and with the adoption of extra cane from the closure of Babinda mill, it will go to continuous crushing mode for the first time in many years. The Tableland mill is progressing well after rain which stopped production at the start, and figures to date are 38,000 tonnes crushed for a CCS of 12.3. With mild days and cool nights, CCS can only rise.
With the excellent weather, farmers are taking the opportunity to plant remaining fallow paddocks and new areas following the unseasonable May weather.
Failed MIS tree farms have been sold off, with many properties being purchased by cane farmers. These properties are now being cleared of the damaged trees and regrowth in readiness for the planting of sugar cane.
Maryborough Sugar Factory Limited, the owners of South Johnstone, Mulgrave and tableland mills have purchased approximately 1,500 Ha of the failed MIS tree plantations and those properties will also be cleared and planted for harvest next season.
With this positive attitude being displayed by all sectors of the sugar industry, the way forward in the wet tropics appears very healthy.