Slow start for crush
THE 2015 cane crush season is officially under way, despite recent rain hampering harvesting efforts in some parts of the district.
Between 60-80mm of rain fell on Proserpine and the surrounding areas over the course of last week, threatening to put the start of the crush on hold, but it was not to be.
As the Guardian was going to press yesterday afternoon, the mill was preparing to commence crushing.
"Recent rain means harvesting is restricted in many parts of the district, however, there is still sufficient cane supply for the factory to start crushing today," Mr McLeod said yesterday afternoon.
"Only about half of the district's harvesting contractors are operating, predominantly in southern and western parts of the district, which have received less rain."
Given current conditions, Mr McLeod didn't expect the mill to achieve full cane supply before early next week.
On the ground in Lethebrook, Hinschen Harvesting's David Hinschen said conditions were "a bit sticky."
"And we're probably in the driest area of Proserpine at the moment," he said.
With more rain forecast up until the weekend, Mr Hinschen said everyone was just waiting to see what would happen.
The Proserpine Mill is expected to crush about 1.76 million tonnes of cane this year.
Mr McLeod said, based on the crop estimate and an allowance for some in-season wet weather, crushing should be finalised by about mid-November.
He also urged motorists to keep a lookout for cane trains, which operate in season 24 hours a day, seven days a week.