New soil guide dishes the dirt on soil types for the Mackay region

Date Posted

28 May, 2015

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Mackay cane growers and their advisors now have access to a new tool that puts the region’s soil and nutrient management information into one handy guide.
Sugar Research Australia (SRA) has today launched the new guide to the various soil types in the region at the Mackay Field Day (sponsored by SRA and Mackay Area Productivity Services).

The guide is called Soil-Specific Nutrient Management Guidelines for Sugarcane Production in the Mackay District and it provides a thorough analysis of all the cane-growing soil types in the Mackay region.

SRA Cropping Systems Manager, Barry Salter, is one of the report’s authors and he says that growing a good crop of cane starts from the ground up.
“This guide to the region’s soils, and all the potential nutrient needs and characteristics of those soils, is a building block for increasing the productivity of the region’s cane crops,” Dr Salter said.

“Understanding our soils helps inform what cane variety to grow, how much fertiliser to apply, and other practices such as tillage, planting, irrigation and harvest.

“Healthier and more productive cane crops delivers a benefit to the growers and millers and this is a core aim of SRA. Likewise, farming more efficiently helps make growers more productive.

“This guide is also about ensuring the fertilisers and nutrients that farmers use are being applied wisely, and that they are reducing production costs by improving efficiency.

“This is just one tool that can help ensure that farmers are spending their fertiliser dollars in the best place. Getting fertiliser applications right also means not over-applying, which in turn has positive environmental outcomes. The same principle applies for a range of farm practice decisions that can be informed by this guide.”

The guide has already been distributed to many of the region’s growers and advisors, but can also be accessed for free by the SRA website or freecall 1300 772 111.

The guide is authored by Barry Salter (SRA), Bernard Schroeder (USQ, formerly SRA), John Panitz (SRA), David Calcino (SRA), and Andrew Wood (Tanglewood Agricultural Services).

Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815

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