Farmers await top crop

Ideal weather conditions throughout the season bodes well for the upcoming harvest.
Ideal weather conditions throughout the season bodes well for the upcoming harvest. File

CANE growers across the Bundaberg region are looking forward to a handsome crop of cane and strong returns thanks to ideal weather conditions.

Consistent rainfall at the beginning of the season and plenty of sunshine in the later stages has ensured a pleasing crop of tall, healthy cane for local growers.

Initial Bundaberg Sugar predictions put the total haul for the Bundaberg region around 1.6 million tonnes - 200,000 tonnes up on the total last year.

Bundaberg Canegrowers deputy chairman Tony Castro said local growers were looking forward to an uninterrupted harvest after a pleasing season.

"We've had a very good growing season this year because in addition to strong rainfall earlier on, we have had plenty of sunshine," he said.

In late 2010 and early 2011 cane plantings were decimated by heavy rainfall and flooding.

Mr Castro said current weather patterns suggested growers would enjoy a harvest season uninterrupted by rainfall.

"It appears at this stage that the weather will be kind to us," he said.

"If it plays out true to form we will have a good harvest without delays caused by excessive rainfall."

Bundaberg Sugar has also released the likely start date for the crush season, with Millaquin scheduled to begin operations June 17 and Bingera June 18.

Mr Castro said it was possible the final estimation would be substantially higher because some growers had not yet provided estimations to Bundaberg Sugar.

"We'd encourage growers to return their estimations to Bundaberg Sugar if they have not already done so," he said.

Mr Castro said the estimation was pleasing after two cane seasons hampered by wet weather.

"It would be a vast improvement on last year's total," he said.

Topics:  bundaberg sugar cane crop farmers harvest weather

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