Local sugarcane growers invited to learn more about practices to improve on-farm productivity and sustainability

sra-logoSRA Media Release
19 September 2013

Some of the latest farming advice and an update on Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS) will be presented by Sugar Research Australia (SRA) at an information session on Thursday 26 September 2013 in Gordonvale.

SRA’s Executive Manager Professional Extension and Communication Unit, Dr Andrew Ward said that these types of sessions are key to helping growers improve on-farm operations while raising awareness of issues affecting their local industry.

“The day will start will a session on canegrubs—an ever-present pest in Far North Queensland that has the potential to cause major economic losses to our industry,” said Dr Ward.

“Our monitoring results show that grub damage is widespread in the Mulgrave area this year.

“It is therefore important for growers to understand how to manage this pest to minimise their impact on yield.”

An overview of the Federally-funded Reef Rescue Program and the SIX EASY STEPS program will also be provided.

“The Great Barrier Reef Report Scorecard for 2011, issued just a few months ago, stated that over a third of growers have made changes to their farming practices. These changes have significantly reduced run-off into the Reef.

“By working through the SIX EASY STEPS program—which focuses on nutrient management—local growers can gain the confidence to make on-farm changes that will contribute to this Program and build their own and the industry’s sustainability.”

The day will conclude with an update on Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS) including what is known about the condition and the focus of research activities.

“YCS is not wide-spread in the more northern cane-growing region. However growers should keep an eye out for it,” said Dr Ward.

“Attendees will learn how to differentiate YCS from other yellowing conditions so that if they do spot it in their crops, they can report it to their local productivity services board. Knowing where this condition appears helps us to map the condition and grow our understanding of how it develops.”

Further information:

The information session will be held on Thursday 26 September 2013.

Attendees are invited to register from 7:15am. Light refreshments will be served.  The sessions will be held between 8:00am and 9:30am at the Rambler in Gordonvale.

Media contact: Vanessa Sandhu, Communications Manager, 0419 175 815.

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