14 May 2013
Sugarcane industry walk and talk together to help improve productivity in the Herbert region
Teams from the Herbert Cane Productivity Services Limited (HCPSL), the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Queensland) and BSES Limited (BSES) held a joint Walk and Talk Day at the BSES research station near Ingham on 30 April 2013.
The day was a great example of how the organisations who collectively service the sugarcane industry, work together to improve its productivity and long-term sustainability said Dr Andrew Ward, Manager Professional Extension and Communication Unit, BSES.
“With over 130 enthusiastic growers in attendance, the day was a great success,” said Dr Ward.
“The group saw first-hand practical demonstrations about the breeding program and the new varieties being trialled in the Herbert region. To help growers select the best varieties for their farm the BSES team gave a detailed briefing about the varieties which are now available through the productivity boards.
“Demonstrations also focused on achieving production efficiencies. A wavy disc and bed renovator demonstration showed how tillage could be improved, while a new spraying system which can separate the spray direction of different herbicides showed how herbicide impact can be reduced.”
Some of the industry’s leading experts gave a series of presentations on the major issues facing Herbert growers today – including research into controlled release nitrogen products, alternatives to Diuron and Yellow Canopy Syndrome.
In addition Dr Alan Garside, Adjunct Scientist, Tropical Crop Science Unit, James Cook University presented his key findings from the recently completed Herbert Productivity Review, a project commissioned by the HCPSL and funded by the Sugar Research and Development Corporate (SRDC).
“Dr Garside recommended that by finishing harvesting no later than the end of October and reducing the harvesting rate, productivity can be improved. He also spoke about how wet weather can also impact negatively on productivity and the strategies growers can use to compensate for these conditions,” said Dr Ward.
“Demonstrations and seminars of this kind are critical to keeping growers informed about the latest best practices and new technologies. In understanding what tools are available to them they can make adjustments on-farm for better results.”