I hope everyone had a happy and joyous Christmas. I don’t think we could have received a better Christmas present if we tried with the welcome rain and storms. The rainfall has been quite variable across the district with some people only just getting enough rain to hold off irrigation, and others having to drain water off. I don’t remember the heat and humidity to be so consistent with no reprieve even with the change in wind direction. The crop is now looking magnificent considering the extreme dry we had during the crushing.
With the dramatic drop in the sugar price from early December there have been some corrections in the advance payments with growers who are 100% in the harvest pool most exposed to reduced pays. QSL notes that the price has improved and expect the future advances should hold their value.
We are currently in negotiations with Bundaberg Sugar to ensure our next crop is harvested in a timely manner and we remain focused on achieving an outcome that is fair for all growers. Sugar prices continue to look strong for the next couple of seasons and with access to QSL Direct you have the ability to take advantage of many different pricing options. If you have not yet received training from Glenn Harris, I encourage you to be in contact to make an appointment.
Paradise Dam ... what a fiasco. We have had meetings with Sunwater, Federal and State politicians which have seen them state they’re fully committed to rebuilding a new dam wall 70m downstream of the existing wall to ensure a safe, secure water supply for the Bundaberg region. This comes after unexpected new issues were identified with the long-term strength and quality of Paradise Dam’s concrete used in its construction. As usual there will have to be studies and approvals to be gained before any actual work can begin. We have already lost two (2) years since the lowering of the wall and will now have to wait some more before the new dam is built.
On the back of strong sugar prices and dry weather there has been a relatively small planting of soybeans grown through to harvest. Many of these crops, especially the earlier planted crops are flowering and looking good. One thing about soybeans is that different varieties have different planting windows and if a grower is keen to plant soybeans now with a change in the rainfall pattern there are some options. HaymanA, which is a preferred edible variety, can be planted into early February while KurandaA which has limited edible markets, can be planted until the end of February. The later the planting for each of the varieties, the lower the yield potential.
There have been some delays with Oreco payments and interest due on the November and December instalments will be paid upon receipt from Oreco. Payment for the supply of trash for the period 1/9/2023 to 24/12/2023 is due by way of six equal instalments commencing 15/1/2024. Due to reporting queries and final reconciliation being delayed, Oreco were only invoiced on 24/1/2024. We hope to receive the first instalment sooner rather than later. A new contract will be negotiated for the 2024 Season onwards and growers wishing to supply cane trash will need to sign new documentation in due course.
Tickets are now on sale for the Bundaberg Sugar Industry Dinner and 2023 Season Awards being held on Friday 8 March. This is a great night to celebrate the achievements of the past season and I encourage you all to attend. Please call the office to book your tickets.
Harvesting Group Arrangements
The Collective Contract stipulates the following arrangements for grouping:
8.1 Formation.- The Mill Owner shall provide an indication of the likely modes of crush for the coming Season in writing to Bundaberg CANEGROWERS Ltd by the 14 April. Applications by a Grower to join a harvesting group must be received by the Mill Owner by the 21 April of each year and the Mill Owner must advise the grower by the 5 May of that year of the Grower’s new Delivery Point to ensure the efficient and economic operation of the Mill transport system.
Growers who have been advised of a new Delivery Point shall notify the Mill Owner by the 15 May if they will accept the new Delivery Point. In the absence of any Application to the Mill Owner from a Grower prior to 21 April, and any notification of acceptance of a Delivery Point by a Grower to the Mill Owner prior to 15 May for those growers advised of a new Delivery Point, the Grower’s membership of their harvesting group shall be deemed to be the same as the previous season.
In order to avoid some of the issues that arose last year, I suggest you sort out your harvesting needs sooner than the 21 April 2024 deadline.
To read the February edition click here