25 August, 2015
The Sugar Research Australia (SRA) Board is meeting with northern NSW cane growers and millers today (Tuesday) to hear the local industry’s priorities for research, development and extension in the Australian sugarcane industry.
The visit forms part of the SRA Board’s commitment to meeting regionally with SRA investors on a regular schedule.
SRA Chairman Paul Wright AM said that the visit was an important way of communicating with the local industry.
“It is extremely valuable for us as a Board to hear from local growers and millers here in northern NSW about their priorities and concerns for research, development and extension,” Mr Wright said. “These visits also allow SRA to communicate directly with our investors and to share how the research agenda is delivering outcomes for growers and millers.”
Mr Wright said northern NSW was an important region for the Australian sugar industry.
In 2014, the NSW region crop averaged just over 111 tonnes of cane per hectare for a crop of over 1.5 million tonnes with an average CCS (commercial cane sugar) of 11.36.
The forecast for the 2015 crop in NSW is about 2.1 million tonnes, marking a substantial increase from recent years.
Mr Wright said that the northern NSW industry had some unique research requirements that were being addressed by SRA-funded research.
“For example, we have a project underway that will run until 2020 working with NSW Sugar on developing productive and regionally-adapted varieties for NSW,” Mr Wright said.
“The aim of this research is to deliver more productive varieties that are suited to the two-year cropping cycle and have improved frost tolerance, both of which are needed for this temperate growing region. We are also identifying new genetically diverse parents to use in the crossing program.”
Mr Wright said that SRA was also strengthening its presence in the region.
“We are also currently recruiting for a Development Officer (DO) based at the Condong Mill. The DO will play an important role in being the interface with the local industry and helping to see growers and millers adopt research to their benefit.
“This will complement our existing staff at Broadwater, working on the SRA southern plant breeding program.”
Media contact: SRA Brad Pfeffer 0419 175 815.