CANE farmers in the Northern Division are asking for more time to harvest their crops to avoid any standover cane when this year's crushing season ends.
Speaking on their behalf, National Farmers Union president Surendra Lal said most farmers were worried they would have standover cane in the fields as the closing date of crushing was just around the corner.
"Farmers in Wainikoro and Daku are mostly affected compared to those in the Labasa area as these farmers depend on the locomotives for cane transportation to the mill," he said.
"Some of them have been given the conversion rate to use the lorry instead of the rail carts because they can supply cane to the mill every day compared to waiting for carts for two or three days.
"If farmers have standover cane, it's only proper that they be compensated because most of them depend on cane farming for their livelihoods.
"Some of them have bank loans to pay and if they are compensated, they will be able to pay their debt."
Vanua Levu Cane Farmers Milling Transport Association president Umesh Chand voiced similar sentiments, requesting for the closing date be moved towards the end of the year.
"At least, this will give time to farmers to harvest all the cane in their fields. It will really help a lot if relevant authorities consider this matter very seriously and address it accordingly."
Fiji Sugarcane Growers Council CEO Sundresh Chetty said they were liaising with FSC on the extension of the crushing season's closing date.
Executive chairman Abdul Khan earlier said the Labasa mill was expected to process about $55million worth of raw sugar from an expected 550,000 tonnes of cane.