27 March 2017
Sugar industry braces for Cyclone Debbie
Around half of Queensland’s sugarcane crop and more than 1,150 cane farming families are in the path of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
CANEGROWERS members in the Burdekin, Proserpine and Mackay regions have been working over the past few days to secure their homes, sheds and farm equipment ahead of the heavy rain and high winds the cyclone will bring over the coming 24-36 hours.
“This is a situation our members have faced before and CANEGROWERS has faith in the resilience and resourcefulness of our farming families to remain safe,” CEO Dan Galligan said. “Our thoughts are with them as the cyclone approaches.”
CANEGROWERS offices are closing so staff can ensure they are in the safest location possible.
“These three regions harvested around 17.5 million tonnes of cane last year, around half of the 35 million tonne Queensland crop,” Mr Galligan said. “This year’s crop in the ground in those regions would be of a similar size and would be worth $1.1 billion dollars as raw sugar.
“We are expecting to see a lot of the cane lying flat after the cyclone has passed through – how it responds will depend on the amount of rain that falls and the impact of the tidal surge expected along the coast.
“If the cane is not snapped or underwater for too long, there is a chance of a full recovery.”