CANEGROWERS have a lot to be confident about.
Plane Creek productivity services chairman and Canegrowers Mackay deputy chairman Kevin Borg said there was strength in the industry in terms of sugar's future, local mill performance, the world sugar price and next year's crop.
Mr Borg (who owns a cane property about 40km south of Sarina) said most growers in the region were feeling "generally confident" about the future.
"There is an air of renewed vigour in activities, in conversation, and it's a very good thing to be seeing and feeling following the last few years' disappointments," Mr Borg said.
"The confidence and renewed interest in moving forward pro-actively comes from a number of factors, and one of those is definitely improved mill performance."
Mr Borg said significant capital investment into repairing, upgrading and maintaining operations at the Sucrogen mill at Plane Creek and the new systems implemented had achieved "availability" percentages not seen in the region for "many years".
"The mill is performing well to date achieving 94% availability," he said.
Previous years have only showed availability in the mid-80 percentile.
"It is confidence-inspiring to know that mill management is making it quite clear to us (growers) that they will improve mill performance side-by-side with productivity going forward," Mr Borg said.
This year's Plane Creek mill area estimate is currently at 1.28 million tonnes.
"We have, in the last couple of weeks, passed the 50% mark of the crushing season. We're cutting a mill area average of about 75-76 tonnes per hectare," Mr Borg said.
"That's probably a little bit down on our expectations considering the excellent growing conditions we had from November to April.
"Our season to date CCS average is 14.21 with a weekly average that is in 15s, and that is something everyone is quite happy with."
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