Fraser Coast cane farmer Allen Birt is hoping for a break from the rain.
Fraser Coast cane farmer Allen Birt is hoping for a break from the rain. Alistair Brightman

Cane farmers might get too much of a good thing

WHILE cane farmers around the region were welcoming the big wet on Monday, some were worried they might get too much of a good thing.

Bidwill cane farmer Allen Birt said if the rain stopped now, he would still need 10 days before he could start harvesting the rest of his crop.

While he was grateful for the rain and said his dams were filling up nicely, he was hoping the rain would let up for a few weeks.

Nikenbah cane farmer Ashley Peterson agreed, but said it felt strange to be hoping for less rain.

"I'm almost not game to say it," he said.

After the Fraser Coast was drought-declared in March, the region was starved of rain last month.

No rain fell in Hervey Bay in September while Maryborough received 0.2mm.

The crush at MSF Sugar's Maryborough mill is expected to be well down on last season's crush of 791,435 tonnes.

Due to the lack of rain, this year's crush is expected to reach about 600,000 tonnes.

In July MSF Sugar General Manager Stewart Norton said growing conditions had been anything but ideal for the 100 growers supplying Maryborough mill.

All that has changed this month, however, with hundreds of millimetres falling across the region.

The increased supplies in the farms' water storage will come in handy during the next cane season.

But with 30 per cent of this year's crop still to be harvested, Mr Peterson said farmers were now hoping for a bit of sunshine.
 



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