The Mackay Whitsunday Water Quality Program Resource page

Resources and Information for the Mackay-Whitsunday Sugarcane Industry

A Comprehensive Look at the Mackay Whitsunday Water Quality Program

The Mackay Whitsunday Water Quality Program (MWWQP) was the largest of five sugarcane regional water quality programs under the Reef Trust Partnership.

Since 2020, growers under the MWWQP have been implementing on-farm practice change with the support and agronomic advice of industry delivery providers. In total, eight projects were delivered under the MWWQP with delivery providers supporting growers to adopt practices that are profitable and sustainable.

The increased number of projects under the MWWQP provided growers with greater choice in who to work with and options for where the participating grower wanted to focus their efforts.

Mackay Whitrsunday Water Quality Project End of Project Event group photo

Case Study

Marian Sugarcane Grower Peter Doyle

Enhancing productivity and sustainability through innovative irrigation management.

Fourth-generation Marian sugarcane grower Peter Doyle is confident that improved irrigation management supported by automation, decision support software and upgrades to infrastructure are contributing to increases in productivity and profitability, while mitigating nutrient and chemical losses.

Project Videos

Cane Farming Resources

In the Mackay Whitsunday region there are a range of support options available to help cane growers make practice improvements and try new things. Managing cane in a sustainable manner while increasing productivity and profits is beneficial for farmers and the environment. 

CANERISE - Access a range of tools and resources to help you make sustainable practice changes on your land. The website features case studies, funding opportunities and educational tools/videos. Topics include: farm economics and record keeping, nutrient management, pests, weeds and diseases, irrigation and soil management & break crops. 

The ABCD framework is designed to highlight and facilitate communication about the different levels or standards of management practice (as opposed to resource condition) within the cane industry for different water quality parameters (i.e. sediment, nutrients and chemicals). The document continues to support the identification and validation of cane management practices that can improve both end of catchment water quality and marine ecosystem health as identified in the Water Quality Improvement Plan (WQIP).

MAPS is the main provider of sugarcane advice and extension for Mackay Sugar farmers. They work on most issues including: pests, diseases, weeds, varieties, nutrition, irrigation and harvesting. Their mission is to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the sugar industry through innovative productivity programs and plant protection services.

Plane Creek Productivity Services will support and enhance sugar industry viability and sustainability for its members while enhancing its role as the lead agency in the Plane Creek Region with a strong industry focus.

Sugar Services Proserpine - enhancing the productivity of the Proserpine region sugar industry by providing advice and support to sugarcane growers to manage and control invasive weeds, pests and diseases and to recognise their impacts on farm productivity.

Reef Catchments resources for the sugarcane industry to improve nutrient management, pesticide management, and irrigation practices on farm while maintaining or improving productivity and profitability.

Farmacist provide site specific assistance for farming businesses using the latest science, technology and digital data layers. Farmacist is able to assist with a range of precision agriculture needs from mapping to sampling and prescription mapping for improved growing conditions.  

Sugar Research Australia's eLibrary provides online full-text access to a growing collection of research reports and electronic publications authored by SRA researchers and staff or resulting from research funded by SRA. Most documents in the eLibrary are freely available to any reader.

Fertiliser application - Sugar Research Australia’s tools have been developed to make on-farm nutrient management easier. The six easy steps toolbox is a repository of all of the tools that support or add value to the six easy steps nutrient management program.

The Mackay-Whitsunday Water Quality Program is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

GBRF Reef trust Logo