The Maryborough Sugar Factory's cane supply manager Chris Coutts-Smith forecasts 625,000 tonnes of sugar to be milled for the 2019 season.
The Maryborough Sugar Factory's cane supply manager Chris Coutts-Smith forecasts 625,000 tonnes of sugar to be milled for the 2019 season. Boni Holmes

CANE CRUSH CRASH: 'One of our worst results in recent times'

THIS year's cane-crushing season is set to fall well short of last year's bumper crop.

Last year, 800,000 tonnes went through MSF Sugar's Maryborough Mill, but cane supply manager Chris Coutts-Smith said this year they were expecting about 625,000 tonnes.

"It would be one of our worst results in recent times and that's due to drought conditions in February and March," he said.

"It's tough, some have access to irrigation and can spend the money and grow their crops, but some don't have that option if they don't have irrigation systems."

While the dry conditions were favourable for harvesting, farmers would soon be planting their crops for next year and rain would again become a pressing issue.

Mr Coutts-Smith said so far about 355,000 tonnes had been processed at the mill, which was about 58 per cent of the total crop.

While the overall harvest was done, sugar content was higher because of the dry weather.

"Often you'll have low tonnes, but it's higher in commercial cane sugar," he said.

"That's something at least, it does help a little.

"World sugar prices aren't helping anyone at the moment."

Maryborough mill's crushing started on July 22 and every day hosts 230 trucks from 20 harvesters.

They are expected to make between 25,000 and 30,000 deliveries across the four-month window.

Mr Coutts-Smith said MSF hoped to finish by the first week in November.



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