Sweet success for Herbert River growers

Herbert River mills crush out for 2017


Agribusiness
Herbert River mills crushed over five million tonnes for just the fourth time in history with the last bins dumped this morning.

Herbert River mills crushed over five million tonnes for just the fourth time in history with the last bins dumped this morning.

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Herbert River mills crushed over five million times for fourth time in history

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HERBERT River mills crushed more than five million tonnes of sugar for just the fourth time in history this season, with the last bin tipped this morning.

The last bin of cane was tipped at Victoria Mill about 9.10am today, bringing the 2017 Herbert season to an end.

The Herbert mills crushed  a total of 5.034 million tonnes of cane and the region's average CCS was 12.95.

Wilmar Sugar’s Herbert Regional Operations Manager Adam Douglas said the last time the Herbert mills had processed more than five million tonnes of cane was in 2005, when 5.55 million tonnes was crushed.

The other two bumper years were 1996 (5.25 million tonnes) and 1997 (5.27 million tonnes).

Mr Douglas said all three sectors of the local sugar industry were to be congratulated on reaching the five million tonnes milestone.

“The last month has been challenging for all of us,” Mr Douglas said.

“We’ve had intermittent rain, difficult harvesting conditions and difficult milling conditions.

“This is only the fourth time in history the Herbert mills have passed the 5 million tonnes mark, and all sectors of the industry deserve credit for producing, harvesting and milling this large crop.

“Without this level of cooperation, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Herbert River Canegrowers chair Michael Pisano said it was a bitter sweet finish to the season for growers, with about 40,000-50,000 tonnes left in the ground due to boggy conditions.

"It is bitter sweet, it is good that we managed to cut as much as we have, we’re over five million tonnes and a lot more than we had expected at the state of the season," Mr Pisano said.

"Only a few weeks ago we didn’t think we'd get this much done.

"There's a lot of bogged fields, the harvesters have done a fantastic job, outstanding, to get as much off as they did."

Mr Pisano said he was confident of pulling another good crop in 2018.

"The crop coming up is looking good, we're very positive about it but there's a long way to go," he said.

"It depends on the type of growing season from now on, hopefully we dodge any cyclones or floods and maximise what we have there."

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