Wet Tropics Soil Health Project

Project Background

Project Name Wet Tropics Soil Health Project
Project Owner Sugar Research Australia
Project Partners

Department of Agriculture (National Landcare Program), Queensland Government, Tully Sugar Ltd, Tully Cane Productivity Services Ltd, MSF Pty Ltd, T.R.A.P. Services, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, WTSIP, USQ, UQ

Project Contact

Marguerite White
ICD Project Services
0447 500 415
mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au

Charissa Rixon
T.R.A.P Services
0448 667 785
t.r.a.p.services@bigpond.com

Project Investors

Department of Agriculture (National Landcare Program), Queensland Government, Tully Sugar Ltd, Tully Cane Productivity Services Ltd, MSF Pty Ltd, T.R.A.P. Services, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, WTSIP, USQ, UQ

Project Summary

This project is an industry partnership of the Wet Tropics cane growing region of Queensland. Over two years, nine paired sites will be established across three mill areas to determine the soil health, root health and business impact of transitioning to an Improved Farming System (IFS). Long-term IFS sites, of at least ten years, will be matched with nearby sites using traditional farming practices. Physical, chemical and biological soil parameters will be measured, along with root development testing, to determine variation between the sites of each pair and therefore the long-term impact of implementing IFS practices. This work will assist the industry to determine the best set of soil health indicators for this region.

Importantly, the economic implications of transitioning to IFS will be investigated and communicated. Each paired site will conduct topic specific field days as determined by local growers involved in the project.

SRA’s Soil Health Extension Toolkit will be validated in the field throughout the two-year project. Local service providers will be trained in the use of the toolkit and will assist to validate soil measurement parameters for the Wet Tropics region. These partners will take the toolkit into the field, working alongside growers, to test its success as an easy method for identifying potential soil/production constraints.

This project builds on the success of SRA’s Project “Measuring soil health, setting benchmarks and supporting practice change in the Sugar Industry” (2017/005) in the Burdekin and Herbert. To read more about this project visit the Soil Health Toolbox webpage.

This Wet Tropics project is being conducted in parallel with a similar project in the Central region (Project 2019/903).

Region Wet Tropics
Project Duration 1 July 2019 – 31 October 2021

Research/Demo Sites

Site 1

Site Type Demonstration
Site Subtype Commercial site
Location Name TBA
Site Contact

Marguerite White
ICD Project Services
0447 500 415
mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au

Charissa Rixon
T.R.A.P Services
0448 667 785
t.r.a.p.services@bigpond.com

Site Purpose Demonstration

Site 2

Site Type Action Learning site
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name MSF Sugar Project Uplift
Site Contact

Marguerite White
ICD Project Services
0447 500 415
mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au

Charissa Rixon
T.R.A.P Services
0448 667 785
t.r.a.p.services@bigpond.com

Site Purpose Action learning

Site 3

Site Type Paired site - Tully
Site Subtype Commercial Farm
Location Name Tully Sugar Mill
Site Contact

Marguerite White
ICD Project Services
0447 500 415
mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au

Charissa Rixon
T.R.A.P Services
0448 667 785
t.r.a.p.services@bigpond.com

Site Purpose Paired site

Site 4

Site Type Pair site - South Johnstone
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name MSF Sugar Mill
Site Contact

Marguerite White
ICD Project Services
0447 500 415
mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au

Charissa Rixon
T.R.A.P Services
0448 667 785
t.r.a.p.services@bigpond.com

Site Purpose Paired site

Site 5

Site Type Paired site - Gordonvale
Site Subtype Commercial farm
Location Name MSF Sugar Mill
Site Contact

Marguerite White
ICD Project Services
0447 500 415
mwhite@icdprojectservices.com.au

Charissa Rixon
T.R.A.P Services
0448 667 785
t.r.a.p.services@bigpond.com

Site Purpose Paired site