Crushing season for cane growers

NORTHERN NSW cane growers had another bad season this year with crushing expected to be down by 40% from previous years.

NSW Sugar Milling Co-Operative's Chris Connors said it was going to be a "very hard year".

"It was the result of the rain and flooding two years ago," Mr Connors said.

"It runs on two-year cycles and farmers couldn't plant then."

Mr Connors said the crops were down to about 1.2 million tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes this crushing season.

He said the strong price was lessening the blow of a poor harvest and farmers were not turning away from cane farming.

"We are expecting a strong recover next year," Mr Connors said.

"Next year's season should be 1.8 million to 2 million tonnes."

The poor results for Northern NSW cane harvests were in contrast to Queensland where crushing figures were high.

Australian Sugar Milling Council CEO Dominic Nolan said close to ideal growing conditions during the past few months has seen the starting forecast come in around the mid-range of earlier expectations.

"With an anticipated 370,000 hectares for harvest, the forecast predicts an average yield of about 85 tonnes per hectare across the industry which is in line with the average over the past 10 years," Mr Nolan said.

Meanwhile, Mr Nolan said across the whole industry the crushing figures were the best for some years.

The crushing season in at Condong begins mid-June until mid-November.


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