3 July, 2019
SRA has achieved Smartcane Best Management Practice (BMP) accreditation for its research station at Tully.
The accreditation is part of SRA ensuring that its research stations across the industry are meeting the best practice industry standard for farm management and stewardship, with Tully now joining most other SRA research stations as being accredited.
This process was initiated by SRA Farm Operations Leader, Mr Jerome Gumley, and was assisted locally by SRA Technician (Tully) Mr Andy Rigby, SRA Meringa Farm Manager Mr Ken Clarke, and Tully farm services contractor Mr Eddie Skocaj. Previous Meringa Farm Manager Mr Jeff Smith (now retired) also played a key role in assisting with the BMP accreditation.
Mr Gumley said that there was ongoing momentum building behind Smartcane BMP and its widespread recognition as a valuable tool for reporting upon adoption of farming best practice. “It therefore makes perfect sense for SRA to pursue accreditation for our research stations,” Mr Gumley said.
“The day-to-day field operations of a research station are quite different to a normal sugarcane farm. The most valuable product we send out the farm gate is not sugarcane but quality research results and observations. It is these results which deliver significant value for the industry by helping to identify a new variety or improving productivity.
“Despite these differences in outputs, the fundamentals of farm stewardship are the same and synchronise with SRA’s operational activities and farm management plans.
“SRA is also committed to undertaking sustainable and efficient farm operational practices to the benefit of the broader community.
“SRA continues to invest in our research stations, using farm asset and operational plans, with a focus on improving efficiency, safety, accuracy and best practice. This extends beyond BMP to also include investments that are recognised as part of the modern farming system.”
Local BMP Facilitator, Mr Nick Stipis, congratulated SRA on becoming BMP accredited.
“SRA plays a vital role in assisting growers and millers with productivity, profitability and sustainability outcomes, and BMP is also a vital component of achieving these outcomes, so it is fitting that our research organisation has gained BMP accreditation for the Tully station,” Mr Stipis said.
The SRA Tully Station conducts important agronomic and nutrient management trials as well as Final Assessment Trials (FATs) for varieties.
It also fulfils an important part of pest and disease management in the Australian industry. It is home to the pathology laboratory which tests samples for the soil-pathogen Pachymetra root rot, as well as nematodes. Potential new varieties are also tested for their resistance to Pachymetra root rot at Tully.