A TROUBLE-free harvest and early finish to the season to get back to normal rotations in 2014 are at the top of the wishlist this year for Brandon canefarmer Bob Lago and his son Christian, of R & J Lago Enterprises.
Bob said last year’s heavy mid-year rain led to a month long delay for the harvest on his 450 hectare crop and the late finish to the season threw things out of kilter for this year.
“Hopefully the weather will hold up until around March or April to give the new crop time to flourish,” Bob said.
“We generally cut some our biggest crops after a relatively dry wet season. Optimally the cane needs to be moist and have plenty of sunshine, not waterlogged like it was last year,” he said.
All of the cane harvested from Bob’s operation is sent to the nearby Pioneer Mill owned by Singapore agribusiness group Wilmar International Limited.
Bob said the group has been a positive force since the takeover.
“Wilmar is trying to improve things for canegrowers in the region, they have carried out repairs on the mill and are always seeking ways to maximise efficiency.”
Bob said he’ll be forward selling the maximum allowance of 60 per cent of his crop, but is hoping the price of sugar increases before he sells.
“We’re hoping for a good price but at present it has dropped a bit from the level we’d like to see it at.
“Our import costs (fuel, water etc.) have risen, so we need the tonnage price to increase to make up for the increase in overheads.”
One purchase that has helped mitigate some of the price increases has been the New Holland T6030 High Rise Agricultural Tractor that Mr Lago purchased from Tracpower Brandon, managed by Sam Licciardello.
“The T6030 has an amazing turning circle is fuel efficient, fits perfectly down the lanes, and the high clearance level is excellent for our standard five foot rows,” Bob said.
What separates the New Holland T6030 range from the pack is its high 37 inch crop clearance, combined with a turning circle which is as good as a standard 4WD tractor.
Add in adjustable wheel centres designed to adapt to different row crop spacing’s from 5’ up to 6’ 6’’ and you have one very flexible piece of machinery.
Turbocharged T6000 series tractor engines have all the muscle needed to handle challenging terrain, soil and crop conditions. Up to 47 per cent torque reserve (depending on the model) provides the engine response needed for the toughest jobs.
The versatile T6000 Series tractors are a natural choice for haying operations, heavy loader work, roadside mowing or row crop applications.
Featuring a range of mechanical or electronic common rail engines, which produce up to 178 hp with engine power boost, you have a responsive, powerful engine that offers exceptional economy.
And with the Active Electro Command transmission, you can reach a top transport speed of 50kph in absolute comfort thanks to the optional Comfort Ride Horizon cab suspension.
With a lifting capacity of 7.8 ton, the T6000 range is a very versatile tractor capable of handling heavy spraying equipment. With an industry best service interval of 600 hours, when the weather is good you can keep on working.
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