Insight Focus

The harvest is in full flow thanks to a run of good weather. However, the consequence of the wet off season means tonnages are not looking promising. On the bright side, sugar content is potentially the highest in recent years due to a recent cold snap.

What Are You Up to on the Farm at Present?

This month, the Far North has had a good run of fine weather, and growers are working hard with planting around the Cairns Region.

On June 18, both the South Johnstone and Mulgrave mills started up and that means the fields are alive with the busy humming of harvesters.

What Stage Is Your Crop At?

The overall tonnage for the district this year is not looking promising. Due to the persistent wet weather in the off season, most growers have anticipated that this will be the case, so it doesn’t come as any real surprise.

On the positive the recent cold snap means the sugar content of the cane is higher than average. In fact, this has been one of the best starts for the sugar content of the crop for many years.

What Are Your Biggest Concerns at Present?

At the moment, the reduced tonnages and area of the crush may cause potential supply issues for the harvesters, which could have a knock-on effect on the factories’ capacity to remain running consistently, if the supply is limited.

A possible assistance to this challenge is that Mossman growers have now been supported to transport their crop to Mulgrave Mill, after a three-way deal was struck between MSF, growers and the Queensland Government.

This is good news for our fellow growers, at least for this season, and will hopefully help fill the gap for our factories. MSF has been actively ensuring the infrastructure is in place to take the Mossman crop.

Overall, it’s business as usual for the growers in the districts with the focus on planting and the harvest in full swing.

Stephen Calcagno

Stephen works in the Cairns region of Far North Queensland, Australia. Stephen grows sugarcane on his 450-hecatre (1,112-acre) farm. Stephen’s sugarcane is processed at Mulgrave Sugar Mill which is operated by MSF Sugar. MSF Sugar is owned by the Mitr Phol group.

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