Lower Clarence cane farmers fire up the 2006 sugar crush on Monday.
Lower Clarence cane farmers fire up the 2006 sugar crush on Monday.

Fields of fire



THE 2006 Clarence sugar crush got off to a shaky start yesterday with a break down stopping crushing from 10am.

NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative operations manager at Harwood, Peter Dibella, said a new de-watering unit, which broke down completely at the start of last season, had a minor failure, and was expected to put the mill out of action until 6pm yesterday.

Mr Dibella said a scraper plate, which removed bagasse from rollers in the mill, broke yesterday morning, but was not expected to have long-term implications.

The de-watering unit is a project run through the Sugar Research Institute, which paid for repairs needed after the 2005 breakdown.

It is hoped that it will reduce the moisture content of bagasse used to fire the mill's furnaces.

As a result of yesterday's breakdown, harvesters stopped during the day.

Mr Dibella said there was enough cane at the mill to keep it operating overnight. They would start again this morning.



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