Bumper season for Clarence Valley cane growers

FOLLOWING another bumper growing season for sugar cane in the Clarence, the Sunshine Sugar Mill at Harwood reported a very positive crush result as the harvest season came to a close late last week.

In the 2016 season, just under 700,000 tonnes of cane was cut from almost 5000 hectares. This represents an average of 140 tonnes per hectare, higher than what was forecast.

Sunshine Sugar chief executive Chris Connors said: "Cane growers in the Clarence have a lot to celebrate coming into Christmas this year.

"Not only are the tonnes per hectare up on forecast, so too is the sugar content (ccs) and the sugar price. It's not too often that you get the improved sugar price and production coinciding."

It was also a good year from the milling perspective with factory recoveries at a very high level.

"I think we are now seeing the results of the SRA cane variety program kicking in, with some of the new varieties delivering both high ccs and very good tonnes per hectare."

The next season is also looking better for local growers with a well-established crop and the current sugar price projection at an even higher level than this season.

With some 150 years under its belt and a strong outlook following another good season and a successful merger with Agribusiness giant, Manildra Group, the local sugar industry continues to prove itself as a significant contributor to the community and the economy of the area.

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