New information now on offer for cane growers

The Coca-Cola Company’s global chief sustainability officer, Bea Perez, with Mackay grower Tony Bugeja

The Coca-Cola Company’s Global Chief Sustainability Officer, Bea Perez with Mackay grower Tony Bugeja.

Practices that can make a real difference to growers’ bottom line and our environment are in demand.

However, more research and resources are needed to help growers identify and adopt changes that are right for them and financially viable, finding out where real gains can be made.

To support this challenge, Reef Catchments is coordinating the GameChanger program for growers in the Mackay-Whitsunday region.

The GameChanger program is an extension of Project Catalyst activities – read more here. GameChanger supports farmers to adopt strategies where evidence has shown they can be applied across farms with sound economic outcomes while significantly increasing the cuts to sugarcane pollutant run.

The GameChanger project has developed and trialled management practices in the Mackay Whitsunday, NQ Dry Tropics and Terrain NRM regions with a focus on the use of precision agriculture technologies and advanced planning to provide opportunities for cane farming to be more economically and environmentally sustainable.

In total, seventy (70) growers are engaging in trials of several key farm management practice changes, including:

  • Variable Rate (VR) application based on block yield
  • Reduction of N and other nutrients for older rations
  • Reduction of N and other nutrients for late harvest ratoons
  • Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers (EEF)
  • Residual vs knockdown herbicides
  • Optimising effective weed control

One of the key goals of GameChanger is to support wider practice uptake by sharing trial learnings. All growers are encouraged to access a new range of case studies outlining trial details and early-stage results.

Case studies will be able to be accessed at no cost from the Reef Catchments website. To read more about the GameChanger trials, click here. 

Grower led and grower driven with practical farming outcomes aimed at improving water quality is the primary focus of the Game Changer project. To achieve this, the project seeks to expand on the success of Project Catalyst and engage with a wide selection of growers throughout three key NRM regions to search for innovative ideas on nutrient and chemical management that also addresses improved water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

GameChanger is supported by NRM Groups across Queensland, through funding from the Australian Government Reef Programme.

In the Mackay-Whitsunday region, the GameChanger program is managed by Reef Catchments.
In the Dry Tropics, the GameChanger program is managed by NQ Dry Tropics NRM.
In the Wet Tropics, the GameChanger program is managed by Terrain NRM.

ABOUT GameChanger

The GameChanger project has developed and trialled management practices in the Mackay Whitsunday, NQ Dry Tropics and Terrain NRM regions with a focus on the use of precision agriculture technologies and advanced planning to provide opportunities for cane farming to be more economically and environmentally sustainable.

GameChanger is supported by NRM Groups across Queensland, through funding from the Australian Government.

GameChanger supports farmers to adopt strategies where evidence has shown they can be applied across farms with sound economic outcomes while significantly increasing the cuts to sugarcane pollutant run.

CONNECTED to Project Catalyst

The GameChanger management practices are an extension of the Project Catalyst activities where technologies and techniques are generally at a higher level than the best management practices identified in the regional ABCD frameworks.

This project has generated evidence for these practices to be promoted to the greater industry for wide scale adoption and integration into the Reef Programme Water Quality Improvement Grants, where they have the potential to significantly reduce anthropomorphic runoff whilst maintaining farm productivity and profitability.

For more information contact us: 07 4968 4200.

LINKS to new Mackay Whitsunday case studies

Tony, John and Mark Bugeja
Phil Deguara
Thomsett Bros 
Ron Telford
Rodney Hindle
Paul Borg
Malcolm Langdon
Gerry Deguara
Adam Keilbach

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