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Sugar crop hit by rains

Mike King

Sugar crop hit by rains

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The?target of just under 30 000 tonnes of sugar this year will not be reached.
Top officials in the industry said Barbados would fall under 26 000 tonnes of sugar and the season would be delayed by two weeks, with the crop now likely to be completed by the third week of June.
Chairman of Barbados Sugar Industries Limited,?Dr Attlee Brathwaite, told the SATURDAY?SUN this week that the unseasonal weather had had a negative impact as heavy showers last month and a few weeks ago had slowed down operations.
The crop started March 2 and was proceeding smoothly until recently when it was hit by torrential rain, which caused flooding in several low-lying areas.
This year has been a generally wet one for Barbados. Rainfall for the first four months of this year – 321.1 millimetres – has been way above the 30-year average, officials of the Barbados Meteorological Office say.
“This year will not show any significant increase over last year. Given the fact that we were looking at just under 30 000 tonnes of sugar, [it] means we will fall well short,” Brathwaite said.
Andrews Factory has so far produced 11 260 tonnes of sugar and Port Vale 8 428 for a total of 19 689.
Brathwaite said he was happy that burning of canes was a not a major issue this season.
“Cane burning was not a big factor this year; the weather was the big issue,” he said.
Barbados delivered the first of its two shipments of sugar – 11 500 tonnes – to Britain’s most renowned cane sugar refinery, Tate and Lyle, last month. The final batch will be shipped at the end of the crop.