Happy new year
It seems like only yesterday that we were all celebrating the start of 2021. Now we are almost a month and a half in to the new year, and still no clear vision on weather and the sugar price. Firstly, the weather. Many areas are still extremely dry for this time of year, and have received very little rain. Coastal areas on the other hand, have faired better.
Currently storms are rumbling around me as I write this. Today I received 4mm of rain, and I have received unofficial reports of 95mm at Bargara.
These irregularities across the district are typical of storm rain. We need good soaking rain with some runoff to ease the burden on irrigation and instate some long term water security across the catchment.
The sugar price seems to be about as easy to follow as the weather. Today it is 16.42 c/lb and is certainly moving in the right direction with the dollar also showing some improvement. The price has showed very little consistency over the last few months and hopefully positive improvements continue for this season and into the future.
It is too early to have a guess, however with early signs suggesting a similar crop to last year. We are all hoping for a improvement over last season. Unfavourable weather and limited allocations in some areas are certainly stifling productivity across the region. With only a couple of rainfall events from 50mm to 100mm in the last twelve (12) months, so for many we are doing okay, but now we all need favourable weather.
We are planning to have a General Meeting in March 2021. We have invited Bundaberg Sugar’s Senior Management to update us on crushing arrangements for 2021 season. Nothing is set in stone yet, and we will be contacting you all with a time and venue around the end of February.
We are continuing with our claims of extremely outrageous rates increases across the Regional Council area. We have strong support from Isis CANEGROWERS, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers and AgForce South on the issue. We all see this as an unjustifiable money grab from the agricultural sector. Many in this category are and continue to struggle with drought, low commodity prices and ever increasing interference from poorly informed bureaucrats who are supposed to be responsible for representing us.
Reef Regulations update
There is a lot of confusion out there and we have summarised what is required in regards to the Reef Regulations and accreditation. You do not need to be accredited, but you will need records and to understand what is required. For more information, see page 3. If you were to be audited, please be aware that we will have your back and Dale, Matt, Tanya and Courtney are available to help, we will sit through the audit with you if you wish. We haven’t given up on getting the inclusion of Bundaberg on the Reef Regulated Area reversed.
The closest reef is 80 km to the north and anything that leaves the Kolan, Burnett and Elliott Rivers heads south because of the Eastern Australian Current. Inclusion of this area is unjustifiable.
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 the 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 deadline.
As some of you might be aware various insurers have recently increased their rates. Ray Goodwin is always available to review your insurance to find competitive insurers and ensure that your cover is adequate. Call Ray on 0418 891 783.
To view the February edition, click here.