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Economic evaluation of post-harvest cane cleaning

Ginns, S. P., Kent, G.A., Johnston, W. L., Panitz, J.H. and Robotham, B.G. (2021) Economic evaluation of post-harvest cane cleaning. In: Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Conference ASSCT 2021, 20 April 2021 - 23 April 2021, Bundaberg West, Australia.

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Abstract

This paper examines three cane supply treatments, Commercial Harvesting, Low-Loss Harvesting and Low-Loss Harvesting plus Cane Cleaning, to determine if post-harvest cane cleaning offers economic benefits over current harvesting strategies. The project involved field and factory measurements of different harvesting and cane-supply strategies in an effort to identify strategies that maximise the total industry benefit, considering, in particular, the cost of the harvesting and cane-supply strategy, the resulting cane loss and the impacts of the resulting extraneous matter in the cane supply. The economic analysis quantified harvesting costs and the resulting product income. The economic analysis was undertaken on three large Tableland experiments to assess the most economical harvesting and cane-cleaning option of the three strategies tested. The analysis considered costs associated with harvest and haulouts, transport, trash and cane-cleaner operation, along with gross income based on tonnes of cane and CCS at the factory. The results did support the expectation of higher CCS yield with lower extractor fan speed, but much of the higher yield measured by low-loss harvesting was lost during post-harvest cane cleaning. In one experiment, the treatment with post-harvest cane cleaning was less economic than the normal harvesting treatment, even after allowing for the lower transport cost to the Mossman Mill, a distance of 81 km away. These trials and subsequent analysis did not measure an increase in CCS yield from the low-loss harvesting plus cane-cleaning treatment compared to the commercial harvesting treatment and, therefore, showed no improvement to sugar income.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Crop and Food Science, Agriculture
Keywords:Economics, mobile cane-cleaner, sugar income
Deposited On:05 Aug 2021 00:48
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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