Wednesday, July 24, 2024

New app to sweeten harvest for sugarcane growers


A new app to help sugarcane growers make more profitable decisions at harvest time has been launched in Queensland.

The Harvest Mate app, developed through a collaboration between the Queensland Government and Sugar Research Australia (SRA) has been designed to help growers capture additional sugar yield from their paddocks.

Research showed optimised harvester settings have the potential to add $44 million to annual grower revenue across Queensland for green harvested sugarcane.

The decision support tool uses data collected by SRA from years of trials across the sugar industry and is supported by detailed economic data collected and analysed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

“Harvest Mate will assist primary producers in setting up their harvesters, supplementing their wealth of knowledge and experience with data,” said Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities, Mark Furner.

“This will help Queensland sugarcane growers extract the greatest possible value out of their harvest.

Harvest Mate is designed to use growers’ block and crop information in addition to harvester, haul-out and labour details and harvest conditions to predict optimal harvester settings.

“In 2019 SRA received 148 responses to a survey that asked growers and harvesting contractors about their harvesting practice,” said SRA Agricultural Machinery Specialist, Phil Patane.

“The vast majority of recipients told us that they didn’t know the cost of harvesting versus the yield benefits when changing from their current practices.”

“Harvest Mate has been developed to fill that knowledge gap and increase profitability. And it’s been developed to be user-friendly, which we hope is reflected in the name,” Mr Patane said.

Growers can register at the Harvest Mate website then download the app for free from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Roadshows for the app have been held across cane growing regions in the last two months by SRA, in Ingham, South Johnstone, Tully, Bundaberg, Childers, Proserpine, Mackay, Koumala and Gordonvale.

A final roadshow will be held at Rocky Point Canegrowers on the Gold Coast at 10am on 16 May.

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