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Sugar industry awards a sweet way to end career

Sugar Industry Awards
Sugar Industry Awards District Champions Janine Weston and Tony Dahl with Nathan Attard from Formatt Machinery.

Leadership and success in the Bundaberg Region was celebrated at the Sugar Industry Awards Dinner for the 2019 season on Friday night.

Bundaberg Canegrowers chair Allan Dingle said the evening was about recognising the hard work and dedication of growers across the Bundaberg Region.

The event, now in its 31st year, was a sell-out with sugarcane growers and all levels of government attending the annual Bundaberg Sugar Industry Productivity Awards at Across the Waves.

Allan said the well-attended event had about 15 awards that included the district champion for the highest tonnes of sugar per cane production area.

“Tony Dahl and Janine Weston's Bingera farm was the overall winner with a three-year average of 16.79 tonnes of sugar per hectare,” Allan said.

“This is quite an achievement considering the dry crops we have had this season.

“That amount is a really good outcome.”

Tony said winning the award was a sweet way to end the couple's sugarcane growing career.

“We’ve recently sold out and will no longer be growing sugarcane,” he said.

“It was definitely a sweet way to end our cane growing career.”

Sugar Industry Awards
Bundaberg Canegrowers chair Allan Dingle and Wayne Baldry at the 2018 Sugar Industry Awards. Photo: Paul Beutel

Sugar crops looking better after rain

Allan said Wayne and Andrea Baldry won the award for the most tonnes of sugar for the Millaquin Mill area for the 2019 season.

Allan said with the high demand for the Sugar Industry Dinner tickets it was nice to see there was still “plenty of interest” in the sugar industry in the Bundaberg Region.

“It’s one of the major industries here,” he said.

“For every dollar we spend, Bundaberg gets back $6.50 and the pie grows.”

He said although the 2019 season was a tough year for growers and everyone involved in the sugar industry, it was now pleasing to see the past six weeks of rain in the Bundaberg Region had given hope for next season.

“We’ve had the best growing conditions for a considerable amount of time,” Allan said.

“With the humidity and projected rainfall, the crops are responding well, and we are looking forward to next season.”

  • Earlier story: Sugar future sweeter after rain