Monday, May 20, 2024

$4.3m to stem impact of sugarcane farm runoff to reef

Six organisations are set to share in $4.38 million in funding from the Queensland Government to support sugarcane growers to improve management practices on their farms, boost productivity and improve the quality of water running off the land and flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Miles Government is committed to protecting the Great Barrier Reef and the thousands of species who call it home,” said Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard.

“We know that poor quality water running off the land and out to the reef is a critical threat, and for many years sugarcane growers have been a key partner in our work to improve water quality, and I thank them for their ongoing support.

“Growers have told us how much they value opportunities to work one-on-one with industry experts to gain valuable insights on how they can improve their productivity and profitability through improved farm management, which in turn benefits the environment through improved water quality flowing to the reef.

“That is why the government is pleased to provide funding for these organisations to work with growers to help them improve crop nutrient use, address soil constraints and enhance farm management planning to improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.

The six organisations named by the Government today are:

  • Sugar Research Australia Limited (Wet Tropics and Burnett Mary regions);
  • Tropical Agricultural Services Pty Ltd (Herbert);
  • Farmacist Pty Ltd (Wet Tropics, Burdekin and Mackay Whitsunday regions);
  • Innisfail District Cane Growers Organisation Limited;
  • Resource Consulting Services Pty Ltd (Mackay Whitsunday); and
  • Tully Cane Productivity Services Ltd.

The Government says the organisations were selected following an open market process that invited agronomic industry experts to develop projects that will help sugarcane growers improve fertiliser use efficiency on their farms.

They will provide expert advice and support to help cane growers improve crop nutrient use through practices like refined fertiliser application rates, addressing soil constraints and farm management planning to save money and reduce the amount of fertiliser being lost to waterways.

“I encourage all sugarcane growers interested in doing their bit to protect the Reef and improve their on-farm practices to reach out to one of the successful providers in your local area to explore opportunities to be part of this program,” said Minister Linard.

The funding is part of a $125.1 million investment by the State Government to support agricultural industries including the cane, grazing, banana, horticulture and grain sectors to improve land condition, reduce losses to waterways and increase their business resilience.

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