SWEET | The Burdekin's 2018 Crushing Season Has Officially Finished

Now for the Herbert!

SWEET | The Burdekin's 2018 Crushing Season Has Officially Finished Image credit: Forturity Property Partners

Wilmar’s Inkerman Mill crushed out in the early hours of this morning, bringing the Burdekin season to a close.

The four Burdekin mills processed a total of 8.02 million tonnes of cane this year, but the headline achievement is the region’s high sugar content.

At 15 units, the Burdekin’s season average CCS is the highest in the Australian sugar industry for 2018.

Burdekin Regional Operations Manager Paul Turnbull said this year’s average CCS was also the highest recorded for the Burdekin in about 15 years.

“The high CCS levels are a bright spot for the local industry this year, especially as the dry weather has contributed to a downsized crop,” Mr Turnbull said.

“I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of growers, contactors and our local employees in getting this year’s crop off the ground and through the mills.”

Inkerman Mill is the last of Wilmar’s four Burdekin mills to finish the crush. The last bin was tipped about 1.50am today (Friday).

For Inkerman Mill Production Superintendent Glen Griggs, the 2018 season has been a sweet end to a 40-year career in the industry, as he heads into retirement.

“Inkerman Mill has book-ended my career, as I started at this mill as an assistant sugar boiler in 1978 and I’m finishing up here as the production superintendent,” Mr Griggs said.

The site’s incoming Production Superintendent, Stephen Eastment, comes from the Mackay region where he filled the production superintendent role over the past 14 seasons at Marian, Mossman and Racecourse mills.

Herbert Cane Supply Manager Jim Kirchner said Wilmar’s Ingham district mills were expected to wind up in two weeks, so keep taking care at crossings!

“The final estimated crop for the Herbert has been revised down slightly to 4.73 million tonnes,” Mr Kirchner said.

“Based on the remaining estimated crop, normal factory operations and no further rain disruptions, the Herbert mills are expected to finish crushing on Friday 30 November.”

Wilmar’s Proserpine Mill finished up on 21 October and Plane Creek Mill at Sarina finished on 2 November.