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Dec 27, 2011 6:58 PM by Herbie Smith

Record Sugar Cane Harvest Expected

It was a great year for sugar-cane farmers.
Experts believe farmers produced record levels of raw sugar this year.
Chad Hanks is a sugar-cane farmer in Duson.
For nearly two decades he has worked in the business and says he's seen good and bad harvest seasons.
Because this season was extremely dry, it was a success.
Farmers were able to better harvest their cane.
"We were able to harvest good clean cane that was mud free. This industry absolutely needed a shot in the arm like this, the economics have been good this year,"said Hanks.
About 12 million pounds of sugar was produced from Hanks' farms, which is two million pounds more than last year.
"Just a ball park figure, it probably was about 15 to 20 percent better than last year as for the economics," said Hanks.

Jim Simon with American Sugar Cane League says Hanks is one of many sugar cane farmers who's had a great season.
Last year farmers produced 226 pounds of sugar from every ton of cane harvest.
This year Simon predicts 230 pounds of sugar will be produced from each ton.
Simon believes this harvest season will help revive the state's economy.
"The sugar cane crop will be worth 950 million dollars. Almost a billion dollars is what our crop bring in. It's very important for the economic well being of all the economies throughout southern Louisiana."

In February numbers will be released on how much sugar was produced in 2011.



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