GIVE 2014

Next Gen was very pleased to attend the Grower Innovation Virtual Expo (GIVE) 2014 on 18th & 19th March in Innisfail.

Catching up at morning tea

Catching up at morning tea

GIVE is a unique conference which allows innovative sugar cane growers to transfer their information to other growers industry wide.

The two-day event kicked off with a casual BBQ at Innisfail Showgrounds where delegates registered, collected their conference bags and got to catch up and talk about the festivities in the days ahead.

Day One featured presentations from various grower groups from across the industry, which included:

The Biochar Grower Group of Lannercost‘Assessing the impact of biochar in the Herbert cane industry’
Driving Agricultural Goals Group (DAG)-Developing prescription compost to suit specific soils in Maryborough district’
Mt Catherine Cooperative‘Effective use of lower mill mud rates in the nutrition program’
The United Soybean Growers Group– ‘Cross Regional Soybean Variety Trials’
Advance Burdekin Collective Research Group– ‘Investigating the Role of Microbes, Carbon in Soil-Plant interaction in Burdekin Sugarcane soils’
Farmacist– ‘Next step in Precision Agriculture’

Following the mornings presentations, participants split into groups and ventured off on field tours around the local area.

Included in the tour was a stop next to the South Johnstone Mill to learn about gabion baskets that local farmers are developing to slow water flow and prevent the erosion of infield gullies. Here we also heard from Bob Stewart from Terrain about re-vegetation projects in the area.

3-wheel high clearance row crop sprayer

3-wheel high clearance row crop sprayer

We also stopped by Gattera & Devaney’s farm to have a look at their high clearance 3-wheel row crop sprayer, named Mantis, where the group heard details about the design and construction of this impressive machine thanks to support from Sugar Research Australia.

The tour also included a stop at the Cecchi’s farm where they showed off their hooded sprayers and their ‘Responsible Economical Environmental fertiliser applicator’. The fertiliser applicator was created by Michael Camilleri, a local cane farmer and engineer.

That evening, the event dinner was held at Brothers League Club where the delegates heard from 2012 Nuffield Scholar, Bryan Granshaw. Bryan intrigued the audience by sharing his learnings from his travels and studies through the Nuffield program. Bryan outlined the benefits the Nuffield program can have on the Australian sugar industry.

Day Two presentations again featured talks on projects from grower groups from all over the State, which included:

Homebush Innovative Growers Group– ‘Using distribution of organic carbon as a basis for reducing nitrogen application rates’
Precise Pivot Management Grower Group– ‘Maximising Centre Pivot Efficiencies’
Hawkins Creek/ Lannercost/ Leach United Pig Management Group– ‘Integrated Feral Pig Management for the Herbert cane area’
LUMPS Farming Group‘Improvement of internal soil drainage and yield on heavy clay soils in the Herbert’
Plane Creek Sustainable Farmers Inc.- ‘Developing Extended fallow options for the Plane Creek district’
Blackburn Harvesting Group-Skip Row Configuration in Sugar Cane’

The day two field tour included a trip to the iconic Sugar Museum in Mourilyan. Here the group took some time to listen to a presentation on the history of the sugar industry and wandered through the important historic relics held here.

The group inspecting the dual herbicide sprayer.

The group inspecting the dual herbicide sprayer.

The group also stopped to hear cane farmer Adrian Daveniza speak about his farms dual herbicide sprayer without hoods. Adrian explained that the sprayer allows glyphosate applications in the inter-row using a twin tank sprayer and that they have developed the device in conjunction with QDAFF with the help of Allan Blair and Jack Robertson.

Also on the tour was a visit to a MSF-owned farm in Silkwood where Robert Brookes talked to the group about their trials with spraying residual herbicide directly onto the soil surface immediately after the cane is harvested, before the trash is placed.

Following the two-day event, Next Gen took part in the Innisfail Field day held in the town’s showground. Despite the wet and windy weather, it was pleasing to see so many farmers and other stakeholders from many industries turn out to enjoy the day.

A huge thank you must go to the Innisfail Growers Action group, organising committee and event sponsors for a spectacular few days.

To see more photos from GIVE, please click here.