How much does a Reef Rescue application cost a cane farmer?

Reef Catchments recently commissioned CSIRO to undertake research into the total cost to sugarcane farmers of implementing best management practices (BMPs) through Reef Rescue.

The research report, entitled Private Transaction Costs of Best Management Practices (BMP) through Reef Rescue was published this June. The research was supported by Paddock to Reef and Reef Rescue staff at Reef Catchments, NQ Dry Tropics and Terrain NRM (Wet Tropic) and included a mail out survey to land holders involved in Reef Rescue.

Some key results from the report were:

  • Over all, most Reef Rescue funded BMPs reduce operating costs and maintain yields and are profitable activities
  • Reef Rescue applications processes were easy, rules for application were fair and working with an extension person to develop an application reduces the transaction costs
  • Growers would like more training specifically about BMPs
  • Most growers would be interested in adopting more BMPs with Reef Rescue funding if more opportunities arise
  • The average transaction cost (research, applying for funding) was ($9,026)
  • Pesticide BMP activities had the lowest transaction cost and soil BMP activities had the highest
  • Survey respondents had a much greater trust in regional bodies that the QLD and Australian Governments.

The report made recommendations on how to improve a similar program based on the cost to growers and the survey responses from growers. Reef Catchments will consider these recommendations as we finalise the model of delivery for Reef Rescue II.  The report is available on the Reef Catchments website.

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