Good rain the only missing element

A HEALTHY downpour in the coming weeks would all but guarantee a booming season for the region’s canegrowers, according to a leading growers’ representative.

Canegrowers Isis chairman and Canegrowers Queensland senior vice-chairman Joe Russo said a “huge year” loomed if the weather was on their side.

“The only issue we have stopping a good season is up in the sky. We can’t rely on irrigation alone – we need a healthy downpour,” he said.

The next few weeks shape as vital times heading into the 2010 growing season, with heavy falls required before temperatures soar approaching Christmas.

“It is very important for favourable weather right now. If we get it, the crop will just explode and we can launch into a good season,” Mr Russo said.

After a dry October and November to date, the need for rain has become even more important.

“Bundaberg, Maryborough and Isis all missed out on good rain, but without looking too far ahead, I think the 2010 season should be reasonably profitable,” Mr Russo said.

Bundaberg Canegrowers president Alan Dingle said that a worldwide deficit in cane had opened the door to allow Bundaberg to capitalise.

“India have been in drought; Brazil haven’t been able to harvest properly. There is about an eight million tonne deficit at the moment, which has made the price as good as what it was in 2003,” he said.

“With prices as they stand now, it should be a very successful season for us.”

He mirrored his Isis counterpart, stressing that the degree of success this year rested in what rain the region received before the new year.

“We definitely need more,” he said.

“I think apart from some decent rain at The Hummock last week, the rest of Bundaberg missed out or just didn’t have enough to be beneficial.”

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