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

Crush begins as growers launch new campaign for change

MARYBOROUGH'S cane crushing season has begun as a new advertising campaign takes aim at "unnecessary" government restrictions.

Backing Canegrowers Queensland, Maryborough and District Canegrowers chairman Jeff Atkinson said the region's primary producers were calling out the impacts of government restrictions on one of the Heritage City's oldest industries.

"More regulation on sediment run-off is just another cost to growers, some of it is practically unworkable, which in turn affects growers' profit and the viability of the industry," he said.

"How can you regulate areas with 4m of rain and areas with 1m of rain in the same way? Just like road speeds are set for their environment so should be the regulations.

"We have done so much already working to best practise and have no credit for it, farming practises have changed more in the last 15 years than the last 80 before that."

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.

The 625,000 tonne forecast for the Maryborough mill crush this year is considerably down from 2018's 800,000 tonnes.

Maryborough Sugar Factory cane supply manager for Maryborough mill Chris Coutts-Smith said the estimate came as the result of a dry spell from January to February which set the crops back.

"It has kicked on a bit with the late rain, so we are quite happy. We might get a little bit of growth through the winter and hopefully we will beat that 625,000," he said.

"At 10 days crushing we are running at about 100 to 101 per cent of the estimate of what's been cut which means it is tracking according to the forecast."

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



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