Millaquin Mill factory manager Dave Pickering is ready for the start of the main crushing season.
Millaquin Mill factory manager Dave Pickering is ready for the start of the main crushing season. Max Fleet

Mills fire up for season's crush

CANE growers have their fingers crossed for clear skies and dry paddocks as the first cane trains bustle around the sugar city.

Mills in the Bundaberg and Childers growing regions began crushing the season's first stalks of cane yesterday.

Millaquin Mill factory manager David Pickering said the start of this year's crush was a little bittersweet, following unfavourable weather conditions endured by growers since summer.

“I think a few growers breathed a sigh of relief when they saw the cane train rolling through,” he said.

“It's been an extremely difficult season and growers are eager to see some money start coming in.”

The Bingera and Millaquin mills in Bundaberg are expected to process 1.5 million tonnes of cane, while Isis Central Mill at Childers has predicted it will crush 1.25 million tonnes.

Early indications suggest the CCS content of Bundaberg and Childers sugar will be high but prices have been tempered by a high Australian dollar.

Mr Pickering said the beginning of the crush had begun during ideal weather conditions and hoped the blue skies would continue.

“It's been difficult for growers with the floods and all the rain,” he said.

“We're hoping the weather will be a little bit more favourable during the crush.”