Delayed crush gets under way

MARYBOROUGH'S cane crush has begun after weeks of setbacks caused by wet weather.

Maryborough Sugar Factory cane supplier superintendent Peter Downs said the crush began about 7am on Thursday.

He said about 560,000 tonnes of cane were expected to be crushed over the next 14 weeks.

Mr Downs said the factory would have a better idea in about a month of how many tonnes would be produced.

He said the crush typically began in the first week of July, but there had not been the urgency to begin that early this year because of the lasting effect of the January floods.

This year's season is expected to produce 100,000 tonnes less than last year, with the floods wiping out crops of many cane growers near the Mary River.

The reduced amount of cane has been predicted to cost Maryborough farmers about $10 million in revenue this year. Ongoing rain for the past two weeks delayed the crush, but Mr Downs said the weather was expected to remain clear in coming weeks.

He said if the weather remained dry, it would allow cane crops to mature and sweeten before being crushed.

The crush was delayed further by a mechanical failure.



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