Reef Trust III Farmer Case Studies

The process of improving nutrient and herbicide practices is different for each individual farmer based on their circumstances.

Reading about the diverse ways farmers with different soil conditions, farm geography and equipment make practice change is of interest to both farmers and the community.

Below are the stories of how these cane farmers are overcoming challenges to move ahead.


Glen and Mandy Schmidtke, cane farmers.

Glen & Mandy Schmidke


Glen & Mandy Schmidtke have sought a challenge late in their career, with a 10 year lease on a 110 ha cane farm in the Plane Creek catchment, south of Mackay. Today, they have completed 2 years managing this farm and see the 8 years ahead as an opportunity. Find out more about their practice change.

Clarrie Mathiason

Clarrie Mathiason had arranged for modifications to his existing fertiliser applicator including the double disc openers and liquid fertiliser system. The Reef Trust 3 programme was able to financially assist Clarrie with these modifications to improve nutrition application and lower potential loss. Find out more here.


Cane at Wallingford..

James Bugeja

James Bugeja
owns and operates a 112 ha cane farm in the Wallingford area approximately 25 km west of Mackay. James is a third generation farmer, spending 20 of his 43 years on his current farm. Through Reef Trust III, James has converted his farm to 1.8 m row spacing with controlled traffic via GPS control of the farm machinery – find out more here.


Cane at Sarina.

Ian and Tanya Baillie


Ian and Tanya Baillie have owned their 85 ha cane farm located in Sarina for 11 years and are soon to purchase an adjacent additional 110 ha from a retiring family member. Tanya says, “To me a challenge is something to get through”. Find out more about their practices.

Joseph Borg.

Joseph Borg



Joseph Borg joined Reef Trust III to be part of the industry initiatives to improve water quality, he is pleased that he has the opportunity to consider nutrition rates and make decisions accordingly rather than have regulations, imposed on his farming business. Find out more about Joseph’s farming practices.


RT3 is coordinated by Reef Catchments, with funding through the Australian Government Reef Trust Phase 3 Programme.