Flooding has made conditions tough for cane growers.
Flooding has made conditions tough for cane growers.

Fraser Coast sugar growers hit hard

THE sugarcane crop on the Fraser Coast has been decimated due to ex-tropical cyclone Oswald.

More than 10% of this year's crop has been damaged, although the final percentage may grow with further inspections over the coming weeks.

Sam Muller and her family near Beaver Rock own one of the farms to be hardest hit.

"It is just devastating," Ms Muller said, after their entire crop was inundated.

Ms Muller said now the floodwaters had receded, they would look to see whether any of their crop could be recovered.

"It's not looking good at this stage," she said, because the cane was underwater for at least five days.

"It was a lot worse than 2011."

Executives from Maryborough Sugar Factory hired a plane to inspect the canefields on Friday and came back reasonably optimistic about the overall situation.

"About 300ha will be a total write-off from what we saw," general manager Stewart Norton said.

"There might be 25,000-60,000 loss in tonnage, but we are still trying to get a clear picture."

He said about 30 growers had been hard hit, with about 1500ha of cane damaged to varying degrees. Mr Norton said there had been mixed reports from growers.

In 2012, the factory crushed 665,000 tonnes of cane.



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