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Jul 23, 2020

2019-2020 Sugar Cane Crop Season Comes to an End

The 2019-2020 Sugar Cane Crop Season came to an end on Tuesday. It was a difficult season for cane farmers in the north. It was a year during which famers and the factory faced a myriad of challenges. One of the biggest challenges was the effects of the extended drought in 2019.  A.S.R./B.S.I. says that while production figures were well below recent results, this year’s harvest was a clear demonstration of the industry’s tenacity as it battled the ravages of the impact of last year’s drought on cane quality and supply combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, pests, and floods. Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

After a late start, the 2019-2020 Sugar Cane Crop came to an end on Tuesday. It lasted for only one hundred and eighty nine days- twenty days less when compared to the year before. Cane production fell drastically this year and so did the production of sugar. The quality of cane also decreased.


Olivia Avilez

Olivia Avilez, Cane Farmer Relations Manager, ASR/B.S.I.

“We managed to mill eight hundred and ninety three thousand and a bit more metric tons of cane. We managed to produce a little below eighty-eight thousand tons of sugar. We saw also the reduction of the size of cane which somehow caused a bit of more mud, dirt or a bit of more extraneous material to come in and so we had a number of challenges that we had to cope with as a result of the climate really. We come from a very good crop and a record high crop in sugar, in cane in quality t a record low this area so we have to learn to adapt to the changes in weather.”


According to Cane Farmer Relations Manager for B.S.I., Olivia Avilez this year’s crop faced a myriad of challenges including the devastating drought in 2019.


Olivia Avilez

“We saw the impacts of an extended drought that we had last year in 2019 and we know for a fact that climate change is real and we are really seeing the risk of climate change. It is not just drought because with drought comes other things. We had pests, newer pests that we weren’t used to controlling before, things like stem bore that had an impact on the cane quality.”


…and hopes are high for the next crop season especially since lessons learned are now being used to develop and implement mitigating measures.


Olivia Avilez

“We are happy in the end that we were able to get through this crop together. We had a meeting with the farmers a while ago and we were talking about all the challenges, all the things that we have to do to mitigate these conditions. Who can control the weather? We have to look at what transpired everything from the last details to start to put in mitigating measures and start to adapt to the new conditions and unforeseen and unpredictable conditions.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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