chapter  18
4 Pages

Harvesting: Hectic Days and Nights

Mechanical harvesting uses sophisticated equipment which can easily go wrong. Cane harvesters developed by Austoft Industries (Bundaberg, Australia) have been the most successful at Kenana, but they are particularly expensive. In the early days, up to 90 per cent of the crop was mechanically harvested but, having regard to hard currency constraints, it was decided as a cost-saving measure to reduce mechanical harvesting to just 50 per cent of the crop, and this was achieved from the 1984/85 season. Today, cutting continues to be done half by machines and half by hand, so that there is no dangerous dependence on either method. Hand cutting is carried out by itinerant workers from the south and west of the country.