Preliminary assessment of the impact of Cyclone Yasi and weather conditions from early 2010 on the 2011 sugarcane crop in North to Central Queensland
An assessment of the impacts of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi and poor weather conditions prevailing since early 2010 (including previous cyclones) on the 2011 sugarcane crop was made from 18 February 2011 to 4 March 2011 from Mossman to Sarina. While Yasi was one of the largest cyclonic complexes to cross the Australian coast, its impact on the sugarcane crop was far outweighed by the prolonged and persistent unseasonal rainfall experienced since the middle of the 2010 harvesting season. From Mossman to Sarina, at the time of inspection, approximately 2,000,000 tonnes of sugarcane production in 2011 will be lost as a direct result of the poor weather conditions. Approximately 1,000,000 tonnes will be lost due to Cyclone Yasi. Crop-loss data are based on mill crop-size forecasts that are expected to be too high in most regions. The loss figures will almost certainly rise when more accurate 2011 crop estimates are calculated by mills in the coming weeks. These estimates will account for the heavy and persisting rainfall being experienced in most regions and the impacts of Yasi. On top of these sugarcane losses, CCS content in 2011 is expected to be reduced by approximately 1.0 to 2.5 units as a direct result of the adverse conditions. The flow-on affects will impact on the 2012 sugarcane crop. Approximately ,500,000 tonnes of sugarcane in the region covered by this report could not be harvested in 2010 and was stood over for harvest in 2011. In 2010, CCS levels were well below average resulting in significantly reduced sugar production. This, combined with lost revenue due to having to standover cane, has had a major financial impact on all sectors of the Australian sugar industry.