Fire damage to a cane farm in Finch Hatton.
Fire damage to a cane farm in Finch Hatton. Emma Murray

Cane growers count the cost of fire

AN estimated 800 hectares of sugarcane crops have been burned in the Pioneer Valley and Blue Mountain areas near Mackay and at Carmila near Sarina, Canegrowers CEO Dan Galligan said.

"There are some individual growers in that tally with very heavy losses and tragically we know of one Canegrowers member who has lost his home and sheds along with his crop," he said.

"There are also growers who have lost valuable equipment and sheds and face a long road of clean up and recovery and Canegrowers will support them as best as we can."

Canegrowers Mackay Chairman Kevin Borg encouraged growers in the region affected by fire to get in touch if they need help.

His organisation provides insurance to members for this kind of natural disaster, and many members had already been in touch, he said.

"It's going to be a loss for the area," he said.

"You don't grow cane to have it burnt.

"At this time of the year, most growers have got all their inputs in there -it's been fertilised, irrigated, it's probably been sprayed for weed and well on the way to growing out into a harvestable crop for 2019."



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