MSF wants Gympie to grow more cane

Maryborough Sugar Factory, the country's third-biggest producer of sugar, is trying to convince struggling dairy farmers and graziers to switch to sugarcane.

MSF is seeking to boost production in Gympie by 50 per cent. It sources mainly from growers north of Gympie. Company spokesman Chris Coutts-Smith told the ABC that the southern parts of the region they sourced from, nearer to Gympie, contributed to only about five per cent of output.

"Certainly got some good soils and good irrigation there – so it would be certainly suited to growing cane," he told the ABC.

The Gympie Times reports that MSF is "waving the cheque book" at local farmers to convince them to grow cane. 

"Many of our existing growers are expanding as a result of an improved price outlook and a better system of risk management through forward pricing," said Coutts-Smith.

"However we have a short age of available land close to Maryborough, so we are keen to talk with landowners further afield."