NO REPRIEVE: The Australian Sugar Milling Council reported a bitter fall in production across the entirety of Queensland.
NO REPRIEVE: The Australian Sugar Milling Council reported a bitter fall in production across the entirety of Queensland.

No reprieve for growers after horror sugar falls

CANE growers have been warned they would have no reprieve this year after a devastating decline in production.

The Australian Sugar Milling Council reported production losses across the entirety of Queensland.

Director of Industry Affairs Jim Crane said the total crop dropped by more than two million tonnes compared to 2018.

Farms across Queensland recorded production falls, with northern region fields suffering the steepest drop, with cane yields falling by 10 tonnes per hectare compared to the eight-year average.

YIELDS FALL: Central region growers, which stretched from Proserpine to north of Bundaberg, had the smallest production decrease, with yields falling by three tonnes per hectare. Picture: Brendan Radke
YIELDS FALL: Central region growers, which stretched from Proserpine to north of Bundaberg, had the smallest production decrease, with yields falling by three tonnes per hectare. Picture: Brendan Radke

Central region growers, which stretched from Proserpine to north of Bundaberg, had the smallest production decrease, with yields falling by three tonnes per hectare.

Despite a lift in the global sugar price and recent widespread rain, Mr Crane said it was unlikely farms would fully recover in the next harvest.

“In some areas the rain has come too late to deliver any marked improvement in crop tonnages for 2020,” he said.

“Given this outlook, it is difficult to see sugar production levels in Queensland recovering

in 2020.”