Establishing sugarcane farming systems to improve soil health

Project Background

Project Name Establishing sugarcane farming systems to improve soil health
Project Owner Sugar Research Australia
Project Partners

NSW Department of Primary Industries and Farmacist Pty Ltd

Project Contact

Barry Salter
Sugar Research Australia
07 4963 6802
bsalter@sugarresearch.com.au

Project Investors

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Project Summary

The Project aims to assess a range of practical farming practices that may improve soil condition through the addition and management of organic matter. Three farming system trials will be conducted in the project:

  • Establishment of farming system to maximise soil condition
  • Intercropping trials
  • Long-term trash blanketing trials
Region Central, New South Wales and Herbert
Project Duration July 2018 - March 2023 (5 years)

Research/Demo Sites

Site one

Site Type Research site
Site Subtype Research station
Location Name Sugar Research Australia Farm
Site Contact

Barry Salter
Sugar Research Australia
07 4963 6802
bsalter@sugarresearch.com.au

Site Purpose Investigate whether tillage between crops cycles affects accumulation of soil carbon and soil health in a trash blanketing system.
Soil Type Chromosol
Rainfall 1,500mm

Site two

Site Type Research site
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name Brightly
Site Contact

Barry Salter
Sugar Research Australia
07 4963 6802
bsalter@sugarresearch.com.au

Site Purpose Investigate the impact of mixed species cover cropping and additional carbon inputs on sugarcane crop performance and soil condition
Soil Type Waiting for soil sample results
Rainfall 1,300 - 1,500 mm

Site three

Site Type Research site
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name Lower Tully
Site Contact

Barry Salter
Sugar Research Australia
07 4963 6802
bsalter@sugarresearch.com.au

Site Purpose Investigate the impact of mixed species cover cropping and additional carbon inputs on sugarcane crop performance and soil condition.
Soil Type TBA
Rainfall 4,000mm

Site four (Keilbach intercropping trial)

Site Type Research and demonstration
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name Sunnyside via Mackay
Site Contact

Robert Sluggett
Farmacist
0459 688 844
roberts@farmcasit.com.au

Site Purpose The trial aims to determine the benefits of growing a soybean intercrop with sugarcane while exploring methods of managing intercrops to reduce competitive effects.
Soil Type Sunnyside, Class A Sodosol
Rainfall 1,500mm

Site five

Site Type Research
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name Clarence Valley (Tweed Catchment)
Site Contact

Lukas Van Zwieten
NSW Department of Primary Industries
02 6626 1126
lukas.van.zwieten@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Site Purpose Mixed-species break crop trial
Soil Type Humose Sulfidic Oxyaquic Hydrosol (ASC), Humic Gley (GSG)
Rainfall 1,763mm (average annual)