Sugar Crop Start Marred By Muddy Cane
Ten days ago, we showed you the opening of the sugar crop at the Tower Hill factory in Orange Walk. As we reported at the time, the sugar that was coming in was wet and muddy - because of the late rains which had inundated the cane fields.
Well ASR/BSI says the muddy cane is causing under production. The review of the first week of the season shows that "compared to the 2015 crop, sugar in cane is low…which has decreased sugar recovery leading to an unfavorable Tonnes of Cane to Tonnes of Sugar ratio."
The problem - according to the millers - is that "Mud in cane has exceeded the required maximum of 4.5%, thereby "increasing the fiber content in cane and affecting milling and efficient steam generation."
That's bad news for all industry stakeholders, and it could translate into lost days of operation - meaning diminished production and earnings. In response, the Sugar Cane Production Committee has sent a flier to farmers asking them to do their best to reduce the mud levels of cane going into the factory. The SCPC has also asked the test group leaders to speak to the farmers to implement the right methods to pick up cane. There are specific loading and stacking techniques which farmers can use to minimize mud levels.