READY TO GO: The 2016 sugar crush is due to start this Friday after being held up by fire, wet weather and mechanical malfunction.
READY TO GO: The 2016 sugar crush is due to start this Friday after being held up by fire, wet weather and mechanical malfunction. Contributed

Delayed sugar crush to start on Friday

SUGAR farmers are keeping their fingers crossed in hopes the crush will start this Friday after a series of delays to the season.

Bundaberg Sugar operations general manager David Pickering said wet weather and June 10’s fire at Millaquin Mill had stalled the start of crush.

The 2016 crushing season was due to start on Monday, June 13.

Mr Pickering said repairs to the mill’s bagasse conveyor system had been completed after it was damaged in the fire.

“The repairs were completed on Sunday and the system was tested Monday,” he said.

“And we’ve had the weather intervene and cause delays but for Millaquin it will be later this week at the absolute earliest and we are not too sure on Bingera Mill yet.”

Bingera also experienced a hiccup on its first day when the plant suffered a breakdown after a steam valve, which had been overhauled before the season by an external company, jammed.

The weather also played a role, with rain and wind knocking the cane about and preventing harvesting.