IT?S SWEET: Trade assistant Phil Blanch inspects the number four crushing mill at Harwood Sugar Mill in readiness for this year
IT?S SWEET: Trade assistant Phil Blanch inspects the number four crushing mill at Harwood Sugar Mill in readiness for this year

Cane farmers laud summer downpour



WHILE many beach-goers lamented the wet summer, cane farmers were rubbing their hands in anticipation of a bumper harvest down the track.

It seemed their enthusiasm for rain had paid off as a big crop was ready for processing, Harwood mill operations manager Peter Dibella said.

Broadwater mill began harvesting on Thursday and Harwood kicks-off on Tuesday.

Mr Dibella said an increase on last year's yield had boosted Clarence growers.

"The crop looks very healthy and very good this year," he said.

"Our estimates for Harwood cane are 800,000 tonnes, up from 720,000 last year, and we will also be processing some of Broadwater's cane as their crop is also very large."

Mr Dibella said heavy summer rain had paved the way for an increase in tonnage.

"We had rain late December, January and February, so it's been a very strong growing season," he said.

Mr Dibella said cane sug- ar content was expected to be slightly down on last year's levels.

"The average is probably going to be down a little because we are starting the season in early June, whereas we normally start in late June," he said.

He said the harvest would run during the next six months, and was due to finish by December 13.



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