Monthly Newsletters

Chairman's Comment

Wow, what can I say, the weather gods fairly turned it on with 600mm or more rainfall for the month, most water storages are overflowing and there has been some good groundwater recharge.

Water allocations increased for both groundwater and surface water for both the Kolan and Burnett surface water schemes.

The downside to all of this is we have left approximately 15,270 tonnes of grower cane and 35,980 tonnes of miller cane standover. The CCS for the year achieved was 14.25, disappointing but understandable considering the growing year and the wet end to the harvest.

It has also been too wet to plant soybeans. There are alternative varieties that have a longer planting window than A6785 that are still a very real opportunity this season. Please contact Matthew Leighton if you require assistance and/or information.

On a brighter note, 2021 saw some great achievements gained for the Bundaberg sugar industry.

Bundaberg Sugar were able to achieve a very credible performance by Millaquin Mill this year with the integration of the north-side and south-side crop and three (3) different modes of cane transport. Our assessment was that mill availability was around 93%. This put Millaquin near or on top of the performance of all Queensland mills. Thank you Rob Zahn, Matthew Curtis and all mill staff on a job well done.

BRIG negotiated access to an alternative electricity retailer with a very competitive price. This has created competition to ERGON and will hopefully grow over the coming year.

Bundaberg CANEGROWERS and Bundaberg Sugar are negotiating with QSL towards the potential of implementing the QSL Direct model in the Bundaberg Mill area. Our existing Raw Sugar Supply arrangements and domestic pooling agreements have served us well over the years and the shift will only occur if the new system is better.

Bundaberg Sugar Services are continuing to refine the one-eye setts process and production and this will help with RSD and the fast tracking of new varieties.

There are a number of individuals and organisations that I would like to acknowledge for their ongoing support and assistance to our members on a wide range of issues.

Peter Ridd (Ex university Professor), Marie Vitelli (AgForce) Georgina Davis (QFF), Stephen Bennett (MP), CANEGROWERS Isis and Maryborough and our own Matt Leighton have been exceptional advocates for our campaign against this area’s inclusion in reef regulations. To include the Burnett Mary in the reef regulations is unjustifiable. We are getting support at the Federal and State government levels and hopefully will be able to report a positive outcome in 2022.

Brian and Jean Gordon from Northside Produce for their ongoing support against the unfair rates grab. The BFVG, AgForce, CANEGROWERS Isis and Bundaberg CANEGROWERS alliance has highlighted the potential for Council to gouge sectors of the community at their whim. Increases in urban values are rumoured to be in excess of 30% and it will be interesting to see if the Council applies the same rules. Hopefully they won’t because the last thing this community needs is extra cost.

Also Ray Goodwin for ensuring growers have adequate insurance cover and for providing an exceptional on-farm service.

I hope that Premier Palaszczuk has heard our request to announce the reinstallation of the Paradise Dam height to at least its original level and give this region the confidence in water availability to grow all the food and fibre products that we supply to the nation and the world. I know that Tom Smith MP from Bundaberg has relayed our hopes to the Queensland Cabinet.

I would like to thank all the staff of Bundaberg CANEGROWERS and Bundaberg Sugar Services for their ongoing commitment and good work done and achievements gained on our behalf.

With this being the last newsletter of the year I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.n

Mark Pressler

To read the December edition, click here

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