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Sugar cane farmers: Outlook optimistic

Hurricane Isaac's winds paired with recent rains made a rough start for this year's sugar-cane grinding season. But industry officials are optimistic that weather will improve this month, helping the process along.

Jim Simon, general manager of the American Sugar Cane League, tells The Courier several mills started grinding last week. The remaining mills are scheduled to begin work this week.

Simon says the sugar cane industry has an annual impact of about $1.1 billion in Louisiana.

Wallace Ellender, a local farmer and president of the American Sugar Cane League, said it's still too early to tell how this year's harvest will turn out. Industry officials don't usually know how much sugar they'll make until January.

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