LaSuCa mill ground 1.5M tons of cane
With grinding complete for the 2018 harvest season, production numbers for the LaSuCa mill at St. John are in. Cane delivery continued longer than usual, slowed somewhat by muddy conditions with the last load transported on Jan. 18, a week later than last year and a full month later than in 2016.
Mill spokesman John Hebert told the Teche News 1,503,930 tons of cane were processed, about 100,000 tons more than early-season forecasts. Sugar yield totalled about 300 million pounds, similar to last year’s total. Wet conditions, especially late in the growing season, were likely responsible for the somewhat lower sugar yield.
Hebert reported that the mill is gearing up for another round of off-season improvements as part of an ongoing multi-year expansion program. Construction of two new boilers will resume soon, but the units will not be operational for next year’s grinding.
The foundation for a new tandem mill building, which will provide a complete second production line, is already poured. The walls are now being erected and the addition should be ready for use in three years.
Further expansion of the transportation and harvest equipment fleets are also planned this year.
The market for sugar is about the same as in recent years, Hebert said. The stable price for sugar has many area grain farmers switching to cane. This will result in continuing increases in acreage planted and continued local growth in the industry.