Sugarcane growers to share in $4.38M to improve farm run off

Published Wednesday, 08 May, 2024 at 02:00 PM

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Innovation
The Honourable Leanne Linard

  • The Miles Government is investing $4.38 million to support sugarcane growers in implementing enhanced management practices on their farms and improve the quality of water flowing off their land and onto the Great Barrier Reef
  • Six organisations will be funded to provide expert advice on improving crop nutrient use, addressing soil constraints and enhancing farm management planning.
  • This funding is part of the government’s $125.1M investment to support agricultural industries to improve land condition, reduce soil loss to waterways and improve their business resilience.

Six organisations will share in $4.38 million in funding from the Miles Government to support sugarcane growers to implement improved 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 six organisations 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 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.

The funding is part of a $125.1 million investment by the Miles 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.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Leanne Linard:

“The Miles Government is committed to protecting the Great Barrier Reef and the thousands of species who call it home.

“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.

“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.

“Our government’s $125.1 million Sugarcane Practice Change Program builds on previous investments to focus on a whole-of-industry approach that works directly with farmers to improve land management practices across Reef catchments.

“There is another risk to the Great Barrier Reef – the election of a Crisafulli LNP government later this year. The LNP has no plans and no policies to protect the reef and the species who call it home and the Queenslanders who depend on it for work.

“We know past performance is the best indicator of future actions. The Newman LNP government, of which David Crisfulli was a senior member, watered down reef protection and cut climate change programs which would have helped protect the reef.

“The LNP is simply too great a risk to our iconic and much-loved reef.”

Quotes attributable to Resource Consulting Services General Manager, Trevor Crook:

“RCS is teaming up with Farmacist to work with sugarcane producers through a program that places the business owners at the core.

“The program combines holistic management training, one-on-one business coaching and agronomic advice within a supportive learning environment to promote producer-led change in pursuit of their respective vision and goals. 

“Participants will discover and adapt techniques that increase profitability through improvements in the fertiliser efficiency of their farming systems.”

Further information:

Further information about the program is available here.

More information on other ways the Queensland Government is working to protect the Great Barrier Reef is available here.


Media contact: Scott Chandler – (07) 3719 7339