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Wet Conditions prevent Complete End to Harvest

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CRUSHING of the 2022 Burdekin district sugar cane crop ended officially in the week ending January 7, 2023, with the four Wilmar Burdekin mills crushing just over 123,000 tonnes of cane for that week, after heavy rain on the previous Thursday and Friday brought an end to the 2022 season. 

In his final weekly Burdekin Production Report, Wilmar’s Cane Supply Manager Burdekin Region, John Tait advised that the mills had crushed slightly more than the budgeted 8.2 million tonnes, “however, some cane was left unharvested due to the wet conditions”. 

Mr Tait advised that the average weekly CCS for that week was 10.44, with the season-to-date CCS finishing on 13.61 units. 

“The highest CCS sample of 14.2 was from a rake of Q183-3R in the Inkerman Productivity dis- trict,” he said. 

In his previous December Production Reports, Mr Tait had advised that Invicta Mill’s season had ended on Tuesday, December 20 (week 28) – a day earlier than planned – due to a transformer failure. 

At that time, Mr Tait said through-put at Pioneer and Kalamia Mills was down, with wet weather representing more than 85 per cent of the total lost time at Pioneer and 50 per cent at Kalamia. 

He reported again in week 29 (week ending December 31) that “wet weather impacted through-put at all three operational mills, however Pioneer was the most affected with crushing operations unable to recommence until Friday morning”. 

Mr Tait said that just under 99 per cent of the forecast 8.20 million tonne Burdekin crop has been crushed to that date, while “the remaining cane continues to grow on with the wet and humid conditions”. 

He said the average weekly CCS was 10.64, with the season-to-date CCS sitting on 13.65 units at that time. 

Mr Tait offered his thanks to all growers, harvesting contractors and Wilmar employees for their efforts throughout this year’s crush. 

“Mills will now commence a very busy capital and maintenance program to get ready for the 2023 season,” he announced.