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NSW sugar industry welcomes start of cane harvest

After a successful 2016 season, followed by several months of downtime, cane growers and millers across the NSW Northern Rivers are looking forward to the start of another crushing season. Ross Farlow, Chairman of NSW Cane Growers said; “A positive weather outlook and sustained strong pricing continues to boost the confidence of cane growers and cane-land investors across the region.” Some 1.9m tonnes of sugar cane are forecast to be harvested in NSW over the next six months. Over half a million of these tonnes will come from the Condong area which was heavily affected by flooding earlier in the year. Chris Connors, CEO of Sunshine Sugar reported; “The Tweed growers and the Condong sugar mill have been working hard to recover from the flood event earlier this year and will be ready for a June start. Whilst we expect the harvesting side of our operation to be a significant challenge due to the amount of debris lodged in crops, our growers and staff are focused on moving forward and getting the job done.” Areas around the Broadwater and Harwood Mills have also experienced significant rainfalls over the past couple of months which may see some wet harvesting conditions in the early weeks of the crush. The three NSW Sugar Mills – Condong, Broadwater and Harwood – will all commence crushing over the next week and are expected to be in full production until mid to late November. Key points: • Cane harvest season started this week • Broadwater Mill to commence crushing a forecast crop of 720,000 tonnes • Harwood Mill to commence crushing a forecast crop of 675,000 tonnes • Condong Mill to commence crushing a forecast crop of 515,000 tonnes