Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg.
Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg.

Plane Creek growers look to 2019 crop

PLANE Creek growers have turned their focus to getting their 2019 sugarcane crop away after the mill wrapped up its 2018 crushing season on Friday, November 2.

Canegrowers Mackay chairman and Plane Creek mill area grower Kevin Borg said the season had been a "double-edged sword” because while dry conditions had contributed to a healthy CCS they had reduced the crop.

Average tonnes per hectare in the growing district were down to around 66.5 tonnes per hectare, a "fairly significant reduction” on the five-year average of 75 tonnes per hectare, Mr Borg said.

A large area of the 2019 crop was still unfertilised, he said, due to a shortage of Wilmar Sugar fertiliser products based on the bio-product dunder.

"Growers used dunder from the Sarina ethanol distillery because it is high in nutrients - it is recycled onto the cane paddocks to grow the next year's crop.”

The shortage was due to a number of factors, including the dry conditions.

Mr Borg said the Plane Creek Mill Area Committee (PCAC) had been in discussions with Wilmar Sugar management regarding plans for improving milling performance further for the 2019 season and beyond.

"Mill reliability this season was not acceptable and growers are concerned that additional cane coming in from the Clairview Racecourse Projects farm will compound the problem and make it difficult for the miller to maintain a crushing season of reasonable length.



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