CHALLENGES: Millaquin Mill production manager Giuseppe Barazza said the year started well before hitting speed bumps around the middle of the crush.
CHALLENGES: Millaquin Mill production manager Giuseppe Barazza said the year started well before hitting speed bumps around the middle of the crush. Mike Knott BUN081217MILLAQUIN1

Wet was a 'headache' for everyone

IT WAS a challenging year for Bundaberg Sugar with weather causing delays.

The end of the crush is only days away now and Bundaberg Sugar's Giuseppe Barazza spoke with the NewsMail about the season.

The Millaquin Mill production manager said it was a good start to the year before it hit some speed bumps around the middle of the crush.

"I won't lie, the first part of the year was a good steady run and very dry,” he said.

"Certainly we had a few hiccups through the season and then we hit a lot of wet weather.

"It's been one of the wettest seasons we've had,” he added.

Mr Barazza said with October's rainfall being one of the wettest on record, it was a bit of a "headache for everybody”.

The October rainfall total was 558.2mm, 238.8mm of which fell on October 3, making it the wettest October day on record.

The crop itself wasn't affected, Mr Barazza said, but the mud that came with it and the stop-start nature of the operation were problems.

"Factories work best when they run straight, without stopping,” he said.

The rain, however, had made a good start in helping next year's crop.

In terms of the CCS (commercial cane sugar) figures, the production manager said they were running well right up to the wet weather.

But had dropped quite a bit since the heavy rains and that had impacted the season.

"It's a little bit below what we were hoping for,” Mr Barazza said.

"Certainly with the first half of the season being very dry, it did affect the tonnage.

"There was a lot of cane there that wasn't being irrigated. Because of the sheer length of dry spell, it did have an impact.

"We saw that impact and the farmers did as well.”

As the crush comes to an end, Mr Barazza says the mill is now over the 1.62 million tonnes and they will continue to pick up the last bits of cane in the next few days.

The delay to the end of this season will not hinder the start of next year's season.

Mr Barazza said an optimal crush would have a little bit of rain through-out the season but nothing like this year.

And during non-crush more rain to tide the farms over and help out the farmers so they wouldn't have to irrigate as much.



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