Crushing season ends with rain

The crushing season has come to an end.
The crushing season has come to an end. Fallon Hudson

MACKAY canegrowers can breathe a sigh of relief after an arduous season for farmers finally draws to an end.

Mackay Sugar general manager Mark Gayton said the season had been a "disappointment" with poorly performing mills and discontented farmers.

"Mackay Sugar wrapped up the 2013 season about 9pm on Saturday at Farleigh Mill," Mr Gayton said.

"The performance has been disappointing and we recognise that.

"We will commence a maintenance program from now on."

He said the program involved maintenance on all three of the region's mills, which are in Farleigh, Racecourse and Mirani.

"We call it the maintenance shutdown," he said.

"We will be targeting our work around those areas and it goes from now until early June.

"The wet weather on the Friday night did have an effect with getting all the crop off.

"We got all up except for 2000 tonnes and the farmers decided to leave that there and stand the cane over because of the field conditions."

The three mills crushed more than five million tonnes for the season, he said.

"From Mackay Sugar's perspective we are doing what we can to make the factories ready for next year."

The Canegrowers annual general meeting will be held later this week and chairman Kevin Borg said he knew canefarmers felt "a bit of frustration" during crushing.

Mr Borg urged farmers to attend the annual general meeting.

"There are a number of issues that will be discussed; first we have to get through any form of weather between now and April," he said.

"The cost of production is an issue. Containing those rising costs of production is on the agenda and we will look for any opportunity to help growers in any way we can."

Topics:  canegrowers crushing season mackay sugar