Invicta Mill in the Burdekin has kicked off the 2020 crushing season for the Wilmar Sugar group.

 Burdekin Regional Operations Manager Paul Turnbull said it had been a smooth start to the season and the factory was running well. 

The first cane went through Invicta Mill’s B side at 6am Wednesday (10 June), with A side starting up at midday the same day. 

Mr Turnbull said it was great to see the first of Wilmar’s eight mills up and running for 2020, after wet weather in late May delayed the start to the season. 

“Our capital and maintenance teams have done a huge amount of work in recent months to get the factories ready for a successful season. It’s good to be crushing cane and making raw sugar.” 

Mr Turnbull said crushing operations would begin at Kalamia Mill tomorrow (Friday 12 June), Inkerman Mill on Sunday (14 June) and Pioneer Mill on Monday (15 June). 

Burdekin Cane Supply Manager John Tait said Wilmar’s Burdekin mills would process about 8.04 million tonnes of cane this year – slightly up on last year’s throughput. 

As a group, Wilmar’s eight mills will process about 15 million tonnes of cane. 

Mr Tait said cane trains were now on the move throughout the Burdekin region, and urged motorists to approach cane rail crossings with caution. 

“Our cane trains can’t come to a quick stop and they can’t swerve. Our message to motorists is clear: Please use your train brain. 

“Using your  train brain means to always be on the lookout for cane trains, to obey all signs and signals at cane railway crossings, and to always give way to oncoming cane trains.” 

This year Wilmar has launched a Train Brain Song as the flagship of its 2020 cane train safety campaign. 

The catchy song urges people to look out for cane trains and to use their train brains, or risk ending up ‘flat out like a toad’.