Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Rainfall Lifts Spirits

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Rainfall Lifts Spirits

Article excerpt

CRUSH FIGURES

MACKAY - WEEKLY UPDATE

Farleigh 58,858

Marian 90,027

Racecourse 51,471

Total tonnes 200,356

Total tonnes to date 2,980,140

PRS week 15.28

PRS year to date 13.57

FROM no rain for months to 180mm in a night in some parts of the region - the past week has certainly been a mixed bag for Mackay Sugar millers, growers and contractors.

While the rain did interrupt crushing operations, it was certainly welcomed, and it stoked industry morale.

Marian Mill factor manager Craig Wood said although the weather had been dry and cane was getting harder to crush and extract sugar content from, morale throughout the sector was still the highest it had been in the past few years.

"This season really has been like chalk and cheese, compared to the past couple of years we have had," Mr Wood said. "This is my third season here at this mill, and there is certainly more enthusiasm."

Mr Wood, who took up the role just before the crushing in 2016, was previously working in the Burdekin with Wilmar CSR.

He said the mill crew's enthusiasm and higher morale was largely attributable to the strategic and carefully planned work completed during the Mackay Sugar maintenance season.

"We can all see the hard work put in before the crush is paying off and the mill has been working well.

"Our availability has been ahead of budget and we are in a significantly better position that we were this time last year.

"Since the rain we have had a little more mud through the cane, but even that hasn't made too much of a difference. The growers have been supplying good cane and any issues we have had have been around the overall quality and content of the cane.

"We have kept in touch with a number of growers and we have a good relationship that continues to improve."

Mr Wood said although the rain was good for plant cane and would help next year's crop, the current crop to be cut was drying out and sugar content would start to drop. …

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