Sugar crush down on previous years

A testing NSW sugar cane crushing season has seen a drop in total tonnes processed, according to the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative.

It said that a total of 2.22 million tonnes was processed by the three NSW sugar mills by the time Broadwater mill stopped crushing on January 18. That figure was down on the 2006 record total of 2.64 million tonnes.

Persistent wet weather throughout the season and severe frost, along with teething problems related to whole cane harvesting, presented plenty of challenges for the season, Chief Executive Officer, Greg Messiter said.

Poor weather led to the later than projected finish and the drop in tonnes crushed as some crop was made into fodder because of frost damage or stood over to be harvested after June this year.

Growing conditions had also been less than ideal for parts of the year.

Broadwater crushed 910,760 tonnes for the season, Harwood 791,287 tonnes and Condong crushed 523,456 tonnes.

5116 hectares of sugar cane were harvested in the Condong mill area, 5641 in the Harwood Mill area and 6759 hectares in the Broadwater mill area.

Broadwater produced 90,554 tonnes of raw sugar, Harwood 88, 783 and Condong 55,104.

All 600 NSW cane growers belong to the NSW Sugar Milling Co-operative with about 36,000 hectares of sugar cane along the coastal strip between Grafton and the Queensland border.

Co-op members will be hoping for kinder weather between now and the start of the next crush in June. “One positive for growers is that co-generation plants at Condong and Broadwater are

expected to be in commercial operation by next season,” Mr Messiter said.

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