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Jan 26, 2022

“Extraneous Materials” Hampering Cane Processing

First it was a blockage by cane farmers that delayed the start of the sugar crop, now rocks, metals, and other debris are threatening to shut down operations at the northern sugar mill, A.S.R./B.S.I. The company announced today mud levels in the product are within the normal range, the presence of other materials is unusually high. Concerned that effects of these material could be catastrophic, William Neal, Communications and Government Affairs Officer said via zoom that they are talking with the Sugar Cane Producers Committee about the issue. 


William Neal, Communications, A.S.R./B.S.I.

“It has been one month since the crop has started, and what is concerning to us at BSI is that we have seen extraneous materials, which means anything from metals to sticks, to rocks showing up more frequently in the cane that is being delivered to the mill. Because of the process for how the mill works, as the cane is being prepared it has to go through the hammers, knifes, etc., which as the name suggest for the knifes, it seeks to cut it in smaller portions so that it can go through the mill easier. So, obviously when you have metal coming in, it cannot cut at the knifes. Then, the hammers which flattens the cane into something similar to what baggase looks like as a part of the preparation for it to go through the mill itself. You have the problem that it cannot crush that at the level that it needs to be done for the preparation and it damages the mill itself. Because of the frequency and the sizes we are seeing, in terms of metals and rocks, that BSI has felt it necessary to write the cane farmer community, but at the same time also do something publicly to register that we are extremely concerned about the extraneous matter that we see coming to the mill and the damage it could do to the mill itself.”


Paul Lopez

“Is perhaps as a result of a lack of due diligence on the part of the farmers?”


William Neal

William Neal

“That is one of the things we are encouraging the Sugar Cane Production Committee to reinforce. There has been talk of a ban for quite some years to push pillers. When the cane cutters have finished cutting the cane, the push pillers come behind, and as the name suggest, it actually pushes and piles so that it can be loaded in the truck. Sometimes you will have rocks, etc. being picked up, but that is one of the reaping practices that actually we have been pushing to eradicate and ban completely, because when you have weather situation that means it increases the mud that is also being collected. It also increases the chances of rocks or metals being piled in with the cane in the first place.”

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