THE situation for the region's cane growers is now dire, and rain is needed in the next two weeks to ensure a reasonable 2014 crop according to Canegrowers Mackay chairman Kevin Borg.
He said this year's crop is now looking like it's "behind the eight ball".
Though growers experienced good set-up rain in November, the necessary follow-up rain is yet to appear.
He said growers who can't irrigate are being severely affected by continued hot temperatures and dry conditions, and those who could irrigate now had skyrocketing irrigation and electricity costs.
"We still have a chance of cutting a reasonable crop, but with every week that goes by, that chance diminishes, so it's an anxious wait," Mr Borg said.