NSW North Coast property stagnates as sugar cane industry hits trouble: HTW rural

Staff ReporterMay 3, 20200 min read

The sugar cane industry, on which the New South Wales North Coast relies, has been under substantial pressure in recent times, according to the latest rural report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

This has been driven by low international prices for the commodity, and the purchase of farms for planting macadamia nut trees and tea trees in the region.

Sugar cane farmers have long worked in a co-operative fashion and share harvesting and planting equipment in various well-organised farmer group structures to defray capital and operating costs.

The report found, however, that in more recent times, some farmers, particularly in the Condong Mill Area, have changed farm practices to growing all one year old cane instead of a mix of one and two year old cane.

“Earlier in the season, sugar producing and ratooning varieties and minimum tillage has promoted this practice of growing only one year old sugar cane. The experience of growing only one year sugar cane is higher levels of overall farm production,” the firm said.

“This region is renowned as a prolific beef store weaner producer historically popular with tableland and western graziers.”

“Although many weaners may still be sold to be grown out or finished in the western areas or feed lots, many beef graziers are improving pastures and genetics so that they can sell their product at higher live weights and gain a higher value and return per head.”

For this reason, the report found, there has been limited sales activity in 2020.

Some sugar cane farms in the Condong Mill area are reportedly sold or under contract, and an avocado farm at Fishermans Reach is reportedly under contract.

The full Herron Todd White 'Month-in-Review' for April can be read here.

Note regarding COVID-19:


This edition of Month In Review had its topic defined in late February with submissions from our offices collated through to late March. During this period, shifts in the social and economic landscape due to COVID-19 became increasingly dramatic, as demonstrated by the varied information provided by offices over the course of three weeks.


This month’s residential theme on baseline property market drivers remains a common thread, and provides an indication of what influences to monitor as the property sector recovers post-crisis.

Staff Reporter

North Coast
Herron Todd White
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