Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Plane Creek Productivity Celebrated

By Kevin Borg, Chairman, CANEGROWERS Mackay

The Plane Creek milling area covers a lot of country- the coastal strip from around Alligator Creek all the way down to Flaggy Rock and on to Clairview, and that country takes in a lot of productive cane growing land, along with many very good farmers.

Just over a week ago, the cane-growing community came together to celebrate the Plane Creek Productivity Services Productivity Awards, celebrating the achievements of growers in the 2022 harvest.

The top performer and winner of the Arthur Gardner Shield for Best Producer for the Season, Koumala grower Mark Sant, pulled in a very high 18.75 tonnes of sugar per hectare. That’s a massive 33% above the average for the Koumala zone.

Productivity is one of the most important parts of farming- it drives profitability, but celebrating the growers who can really produce a great crop is important. The Productivity Awards Highlight those top achievers, for the benefit of their fellow growers. For sure, no-one gets into growing cane to win awards, but there is a lot to learn from growers with high productivity achieved within sustainable systems.

It makes you think, as a farmer: what can I learn and do better myself? How can I achieve results like that also? As an industry, we are trying to produce more but with less inputs. If someone is achieving good results sustainably, then there is something to learn there, it gives us something to take note of, and aspire to. It’s the start of a conversation between growers about how we can improve productivity.

The PCPSL Productivity Awards are an important event for the milling area’s growers- it’s always a great family night, with a strong community spirit, and this year’s event was no exception. This year, the Awards were held in Carmila, giving Carmila State School P&C a fundraising opportunity in providing a BBQ dinner for around 150 people who attend.

Every year, the event is held, in turn, in Koumala, Carmila or Sarina, with the state schools of each town benefitting through that fundraising activity. CANEGROWERS Mackay joins other sponsors in supporting the awards, and congratulates all award recipients. We also congratulate the PCPSL team, who wade through productivity records to determine the district's top producers.

If the Mackay Regional community is keen to see some great cane- don’t forget to take a look at the Show Cane competition displays as we come into Ag Show season- and we encourage all our growers to think about entering some samples of their best cane at the Pioneer Valley, Mackay and Sarina Shows this year.

2022 Season Plane Creek Productivity Award Winners


Plane Creek: Paul McDougall (12.24 TSH)

Dawlish: Manuel Muscat (15.82 TSH)

Main Line: Alan McFadzen (13.74 TSH)

Cliftonville: Jake Galea (13.97 TSH)

Yukan: Phillip Borg (15.46 TSH)

Koumala: Mark Sant (18.75 TSH)

Bolingbroke: Trevor Sleeman (13.79 TSH)

Turnors Paddock: John, Anne and Rob Hand (15.18 TSH)

Mt Christian: Fred and Janelle Axiak (16.60 TSH)

Ilbilbie: Joe Quattromani (15.21 TSH)

West Hill: Rodney Hindle (12.78 TSH)

Carmila West: Rodney Hindle (13.93 TSH)

Carmila: Russell and Chris Thompson (12.11 TSH)


Arthur Gardner Shield - Best Producer of the Season:  Mark Sant (18.75 TSH)

Best Producer over Five Years: Phillip Borg (15.46 TSH)

Cane Growing Excellence Award: Mark Sant (18.75 TSH)

Highest Average Rel. CCS by Farm: George Sammut (13.9CCS)

Next Generation Grower: Sam and Nick Axiak

Best Harvesting Group: Troy Steindl

Jim Pedersen Sustainable Management Award: Colin Bourke

CANEGROWERS Mackay Chairman Kevin Borg and PCPSL Chair Mal Langdon present the Cane Growing Excellence Award to Mark Sant and daughter Selena

From left, Wilmar Sugar Marketing Angus McKerrow Mal Langdon present Best Producer over Five Years, Phillip Borg with grandsons Ben Jack and Chris

From left NQ Farmshed's  Wayne Berginey PCPSL Chairman Mal Langdon congratulate Main Line zone winner Alan McFadzen

Kevin Borg presents the CANEGROWERS Mackay Next Generation Grower award, won by Sam (and Nick, absent) Axiak

In other news