Sugarcane harvest grinds to a successful halt

Agriculture
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The 2018 Louisiana sugarcane harvest resulted in record yield in terms of tonnage but a reduced sugar recovery from last year.

“When it’s all said and done, we should make the same amount of sugar, which was a record last year,” said LSU AgCenter sugarcane specialist Kenneth Gravois.

The grinding season usually ends in early January, but mills went as much as two weeks later. The last two mills to finish were LASUCA in St. Martinville and the St. Mary Sugar Coop in Jeanerette. Both expected to complete grinding Jan. 19.

The cane yield will be around 38.8 tons per acre, compared to 36.6 tons last year. “The only way to process that is with a longer processing season,” Gravois said.

Sugar recovery this season will be approximately 217 pounds per ton of cane, he said. Last year’s recovery was 242 pounds per ton.

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