Canegrowers reeling from the big wet

AUSTRALIA'S 2011 sugar production has again been revised downwards at the halfway point of the crush.

Peak sugar group Canegrowers says total production estimates have steadily declined throughout the season, due to the extraordinary wet summer in Queensland.

It may come in below 30 million tonnes - well below the usual 32 to 35 million tonnes of cane usually harvested in Australia each year.

Bundaberg Canegrowers chairman Allan Dingle said Bundaberg had not been as badly affected as some of its northern neighbours but was still feeling the after affects of prolonged wet weather. "It is likely the total tonnage will be down on previous expectations," he said.

National Canegrowers chief Steve Greenwood said although the weather this season had so far been favourable, growers were still suffering from the big wet.

"A large whack of cane was unable to be crushed last season due to the wet conditions and was left in the fields as standover," he said.

"This is causing major issues with harvesting and tonnages."

Debris strewn in paddocks after Cyclone Yasi was still a major problem for many growers and broken and battered cane had not reached full growth. However, most regions have reported favourable weather conditions for planting, meaning the 2012 crop is looking positive.


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