TALKING CANE: Cane farmer Maurice Faletti.
TALKING CANE: Cane farmer Maurice Faletti. Peter Carruthers

Farmer: the ‘weather ultimately decides’...

MAURICE Faletti's great grandfather emigrated to Australia from Italy and began growing cane in Myrtlevale more than 100 years ago.

Mr Faletti said farming cane came as second nature to him when he branched out from his 'old man's' operation to buy his own farm in 2003.

He and his brother started a contact harvesting company the following year and in 2008 they bought the former Walker farm opposite the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation.

In total with his father's land, Mr Faletti and his brother Mark operate 270 hectares of cane growing land.

Every year when Mr Faletti sees the plant cane coming up he cannot help but be pleased.

"I do enjoy seeing it, you go out early in the morning and it gets thicker and thicker every day," he said

"You will go from one day where there is nothing to all of a sudden you will see a little green spike and the next morning there will be 10 more beside it.

"It changes every day at the beginning and it is a nice feeling to see it coming up, because there is a lot of expense that goes into planting."

With the good there also comes the bad - the 2010 crush in Proserpine that left 27% of the cane in the ground is an example of what can go wrong in the cane farming game.

"Weather ultimately decides what happens and what doesn't happen, that's the guts of it," Mr Faletti said.

"(But) these last few years have been quite good in the fact that we have had good weather and with good weather there is nearly no chance of losing (cane).

"The season we have had so far the people who have planted have been very lucky to get it out of the ground because these rain events are not ideal."

Mr Faletti said he would be hoping for sunny conditions to get the rest of his planting done.

When not at the wheel of a harvester, working up fields or doing maintenance on irrigation equipment, Mr Faletti likes spending time with his wife and three kids.

"My spare time is family time because when it's busy they won't see me all day," he said.