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Jan 6, 2016

ASR Rep Says Mud and Water Affecting Cane Crop

Mac McLachlan

The 2015-2016 sugar crop season started on schedule back in December 2015, but all is not well in the industry. Inclement weather has been affecting the crop in the sugar belt. According to Vice President of International Relations for ASR, Mac McLachlan, the cane currently being milled contains mud and water, which in turn affects the quality of sugar produced. Today, McLachlan says farmers have been advised on how retain the quality of the cane.


Mac McLachlan, Vice-President, International Relations, ASR

“We’ve had three different years over the last three years. In the last two years, we’ve had a very delayed start to the crop. One of those years it was still quite wet; last year it was actually very dry. This year, we got on early, we started the crop early. We know there is a lot of cane there and we want to have as long a period as we can milling that cane, but there are downsides to that. First of all we had to start in very wet weather; that’s bad because as well as milling sugar cane, the mill ends up milling water and it ends up milling mud that’s coming in with that sugar cane. So we have implored everybody within the industry to work together to try to reduce the amount of mud that’s coming in with the cane because that basically reduces the quality and therefore the payment for that came. We don’t know exactly how much cane there is, to be honest; and I don’t think anybody could tell you exactly how much cane there is. And that’s one the big problems for this industry and it’s our ambitions. The reason why we started early is to try and get as much of that cane in as we possibly can. We won’t know until later in the season to know how we are doing.  But the idea is that we get back on a proper crop cycle and then we can manage. What we need is a very efficient industry; that means an efficient mill and efficiently produced sugar cane matching the capacity of the mill. That is how you create the best customary for producing sugar. That’s what we need to strive towards. This year, is an unusual year because we are starting with a lot more cane from stand over cane from last year than we would normally have to have. We don’t know exactly how much is there, but we’re gonna give it our best shot.”

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