SRA Media Release: Local sugarcane growers invited to learn about harvesting at its best

14 August 2013

Sugar Research Australia (SRA) – the research, development and extension organisation for the Australian sugarcane industry – is conducting demonstrations in the Mackay region to showcase the economic benefits of Harvesting Best Practice (HBP).

Dr Andrew Ward, Manager Professional Extension and Communication Unit, SRA said that the demonstrations – which start today – present some of the latest systems and practices that can help growers improve on-farm efficiencies and profitability.

“This year’s crush is well underway in Mackay,” said Dr Ward.

“However with harvesting still to continue for another three to four months, it’s important for growers to understand how they can maximise the return on their crop which is still in the field.”

Research by SRA’s engineering division has shown that not using best practices – such as reducing harvester fanspeed and managing bin weights – could cause financial losses over $1,000 per hectare.

At the demonstrations growers can learn more about changes they can make during harvesting to reduce their losses. They will also have the opportunity to see first-hand a prototype mobile system that accurately measures sugar loss in-field.

Funded by the Sugar Research Development Corporation, the system provides immediate results which can be reviewed with the harvester operator and adjustments made while the machine is still in the block.

“Systems like this are delivering outstanding results to industry by improving efficiencies,” said Dr Ward.

“It’s important for growers to understand the new technologies that are available to them so they can begin to use them on-farm for better results.”

Trial information

  • The harvesting demonstrations will be held from 14–23 August 2013 throughout the Mackay region.
  • To register to attend a demonstration contact Phil Patane, Development Officer-Harvesting, SRA on 0431 818 482.

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