News

Heading for record dry run

This year's cane harvest will be one of the smallest the Valley has seen in the past 20 years due to recent floods. Farmers hope the dry spell will last until planting has finished.
This year's cane harvest will be one of the smallest the Valley has seen in the past 20 years due to recent floods. Farmers hope the dry spell will last until planting has finished. Lee Constable

PROVIDED it is not raining as you read this Grafton will be on the way to recording its driest August since 1880.

Meteorologist at the BOM, Alison Skim said yesterday the Grafton station has received just 1.2mm of rain for the month of August so far.

That small fall occurred on Wednesday, August 24, when a scattered thunderstorm glanced Grafton.

While town dwellers have been enjoying the sun, the dry spell has also been great news for the cane- growers.

"This weather has been a good break after the past couple of years and we're lapping the dry weather up," said Clarence Cane Growers Association manager Pat Battersby.

The cane harvest has been rolling on over the past couple of weeks and farmers have been glad to get some dry weather which makes the harvesting process easier and cheaper.

Harvesters have been able to use rubber-tyred chaser bins to transport the crop across the cane fields instead of steel-track chaser bin vehicles which are far more expensive to run.

"We have been able to harvest with rubber-tyred infield transporters and that has been a dream," said Mr Battersby.

"Doing it that way is much more cost-effective when compared to harvesting with tracked infield-transporters."

Mr Battersby also said the price for cane is looking reasonably good but the crop that is in the ground at the moment is small because a lot of cane was wiped out by the floods over the past two years.

It is estimated that this year's cane harvest will be one of the smallest in the Valley in the past 20 years.

The reason is that planting over the past two years has been severely hindered by floods.

"The January 2011 and January 2012 floods destroyed a lot of what was planted."

Mr Battersby welcomed the dry spell as a much-needed break and hoped that the dry weather would continue until after planting was finished.

Then he said he hoped there would be light spring rains to nourish the incoming crop.

Topics:  bom, clarence cane growers association, farmers, rain, sugar cane




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

FAIR GO: A tale of two babies

Jeremy and Stacey Billett with their one-week-old baby Charlotte Jeanette Billett at their home in Ilarwill.

Country babies lose out to their city cousins

Tenderer announced for new Harwood bridge

APPROVED: Chris Gulaptis and Duncan Gay (right) congratulate approved tenderers for the Harwood bridge project, Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture.

New Clarence River crossing to remove notorious traffic hotspot

$500 camera for plunge winner: help us decide

VOTE for the best Instagram #cvcplunge2016 photo.

Latest deals and offers

Grafton City SES Training

Grafton SES unit controller Adam Jarrett explains the process involved in being an...

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances