Cane farmer David Bartlett and farmhand Graeme Farrell burn off in Murwillumbah during a previous season.
Cane farmer David Bartlett and farmhand Graeme Farrell burn off in Murwillumbah during a previous season. John Gass

Tweed cane farmers ready to fire up

INDUSTRY insiders are confident Tweed cane farmers will be able to commence harvesting later this week despite recent heavy rain.

Still reeling from the effects of the East Coast Low that struck the region earlier this month, Tweed cane farms copped another drenching at the weekend.

Murwillumbah received more than 100mm in less than 24 hours to 9am Sunday. The deluge came just two weeks after falls of more than 400mm were recorded in some centres.

The harvest had been scheduled to commence at the start of the week but Condong Sugar Mill operations manager Greg Petersen said that had been delayed.

"Obviously we can't get a burn in with both the cane and the ground very wet," he said Tuesday.

"But hopefully this drying weather will continue and we can get started later his week."

Mr Petersen said it was hoped the crush could commence as early as tomorrow if farmers can get a burn in tonight.

"We've got all good intentions of starting the crush on Thursday," he said.

"We're just waiting for farmers to select paddocks that they can burn and start harvesting."

Once the harvest begins the Condong mill will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week through until the end of November.

The Condong Sugar Mill processed 550,000 tonnes last year and early indications are that the current crop will exceed that figure.

"We're looking at 570,000 tonnes this season and that figure is still looking good," Mr Petersen said.

"Once we start processing we'll be able to confirm yields on the paddocks and determine if that estimate is realistic."



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