Flood's lingering effects hit sugar planting
SOME Maryborough cane farmers may not make the planting season after summer flooding wiped out their crop.
The Maryborough cane harvesting season is scheduled to begin in late July but some local farmers are facing an uphill battle.
About 30 farmers have suffered major losses and may not be ready for the September planting season.
Maryborough is due to begin harvesting its sugar cane in late July.
There is about 560,000 tonnes of cane due to be crushed from Maryborough - that is about 100,000 tonnes less than last year.
Canegrowers Maryborough chairman Trevor Turner said the floods certainly made an impact.
"Some farmers have been affected and there are some who have lost it all," he said.
"Most of the farmers whose land is subject to flooding have obviously been affected.
"They've suffered major losses."
Mr Turner said months of dry weather would be needed if the farmers were to make the planting season.
"It's been wet since the floods, and anytime there's a bit of moisture in the ground it's impossible to get a tractor in there," he said.
"Hopefully they'll get sufficient time to prepare the paddocks."
Farmers have had small amounts of government funding. However, there is still a long road to recovery. Farmers may be eligible for payment through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements which gives access to concessional loans to farmers and small rural businesses of up to $250,000.
The numbers for Maryborough:
- 2013: 116 growers, 560,000 tonnes crush estimate;
- 2012: 118 growers, 665,200 tonnes crushed;
- 2011: 119 growers, 669, 600 tonnes crushed;
- 2010: 118 growers, 575,000 tonnes crushed;
- 2009: 120 growers, 687,400 tonnes crushed.