MEGA FARM TO BOOST PLANE CREEK MILL
A 2300-hectare cane farm at Clairview, south of Mackay, could help Singapore-based multinational Wilmar deliver on an ambitious plan to increase throughput at Plane Creek Mill by 23 per cent.
The miller wants to increase the volume of cane crushed by the mill from the 1.171million tonnes processed this season to 1.6million tonnes over the next five years.
Part of the reason for a recent decline was a drop in the area under cane.
Farmers moved to other industries, such as cattle, as they became more profitable, Wilmar general manager cane supply and grower relations Paul Giordani said.
However, with extra tonnage from Clairview, improved harvesting efficiencies and an expanded mill mud network to get more fertiliser to cane farmers, the company would be looking to turn things around.
Mill mud is a by-product of the crushing process that is delivered back to farmers to help them enrich fields.
The Clairview venture is expected to deliver an extra 140,000-150,000 tonnes of cane over the next few years.
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