STRAIGHT TALK: Grower Robert Craig says Mackay Sugar is heading in the right direction.
STRAIGHT TALK: Grower Robert Craig says Mackay Sugar is heading in the right direction. Meredith Papas

Crush looking good, growers cautiously optimistic

FIVE weeks in and the 2018 crushing season is producing some promising results.

A Mackay Sugar spokesperson said crushing performance was above budget this week for the three local Mackay region mills.

The spokesperson said Farleigh Mill's crushing rate had been increasing throughout the week, although a blackout - caused by an Ergon breaker tripping - caused some high liquor stocks and significant downtime.

"The evaporator capacity also remains a limiting factor," the spokesperson said.

"Marian, on the other hand, conducted a maintenance day on B-Train as well as a chemical clean on the effets."

The spokesperson said cane supply was short at times due to wet weather, however mills were still operating well.

"Reliability at Racecourse has improved this week, however the pan stage continues to be rate limiting due to the standover cane."

Marian grower Robert Craig said although he echoed the concerns heard throughout the region about the long crushing season, standover cane was not one of his worries.

"We are looking pretty good and I think the mills seem to be going well so far," Mr Craig said.

"The sugar content is growing, and we are looking okay. We're definitely in a better position than we have been in past years."

As for the bigger picture, Mr Craig said having straight talkers at the top in management at Mackay Sugar was helping with the overall industry view.

"We are in a better position now and while things aren't great, at least we are hearing some straight talk.

"Look, there is negativity among growers at the moment because of where we are at (with the financial position of Mackay Sugar) but I think we are headed in the right direction and the company is doing what needs to be done."


  • Farleigh 61,641
  • Marian 82,751
  • Racecourse 64,403
  • Total tonnes 208,795
  • Total to date 833,676
  • PRS week 11.88
  • PRS year to date 11.46