Although some sugar mills in the state will continue grinding into January, local mills have shut it down for the season.
PHOTO: Mark LeBlanc of Baton Rouge and his daughter, Vianne, grind cane on an antique mill. LeBlanc is using the cane juice to make rum. Photo by Sam Irwin.
Grinding began the last week of September at Raceland Raw Sugar and the first week of October at Lafourche Sugars. It ended this week at both mills.
Rain delayed some farmers’ planting, but Thibodaux farmer Bobby Gravois said conditions were dry for much of the grinding season. Even a snow day Dec. 8 didn’t really hurt the crop, he said.
"The tonnage was high, maybe in the mid-30s,” he said. "The sugar content was about 220 pounds per ton.”
Tonnage refers to tons of cane produced per acre of land, and sugar content is how many pounds of sugar each ton of cane produces. He said both numbers are good this year.