The sugarcane harvest generally extends from late May until mid-November, weather permitting. Harvesting is a highly mechanised activity which utilises predominantly track harvesters and high flotation in-field transport units to deliver the harvested cane to sidings on the rail network.

Tractor loading cane binsHistorically, a sugarcane harvest was preceded by burning the cane - setting fire to specific blocks of cane to drive out resident rats and snakes and reduce the amount of leaf matter which accompanied the cane sticks to the factories. Now, with increased emphasis on ‘green cane harvesting’ and the trend away from burning, due to adverse environmental impact and the risk of losses if it rains after burning, cane is cut green and the leaf matter is discarded onto the paddock as mulch or ‘trash blanketing’.