John Deguara was one of many Eton growers to push the region to become the nation's fourth largest cane producing suburb in 2019-20. Photo: Zizi Averill
John Deguara was one of many Eton growers to push the region to become the nation's fourth largest cane producing suburb in 2019-20. Photo: Zizi Averill

‘No man’s land’ in the nation’s largest sugar district

JOHN Deguara has spent his adult life manning the "no man's land" in the highly productive sugarcane district of Walkerston-Eton.

He joked his Sorbellos Rd property was caught between Eton, North Eton and Brightly - in the heart of Australia's fourth largest sugarcane district according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"I left school at the end of the '73 and I've been on the family farm since then," Mr Deguara said.

For 10 hours a day, six days a week, for 47 years, Mr Deguara has been building his family's cane business.

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With the latest harvest to begin on Saturday, Mr Deguara joked he would not be resting until Christmas.

"Everything is moving. And it will be non-stop right until the end of December," he said.

Despite a "dent" in production from the cold and wet condition, Mr Deguara said everything was very green and ready for the mills.

"The crop is looking very good," he said.

"Our estimate is that we'll be similar to last year."

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As high electricity and water prices battle with a low global sugar price, Mr Deguara said he had adopted the latest in farming technology to minimise expenditure.

His electricity bill prompted Mr Deguara to install solar panels, and soybeans and sorghum plantations had replaced fallow fields.

The 61-year-old said his sons were helping him install precision farming technology.



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