13 February, 2017
SRA will have a new research farm in the Southern growing region with the purchase of a new property at Welcome Creek. This will see SRA able to focus its research activities to one site and will allow the transition from the previous research facility at Ashfield Road at Kalkie.
In 2016, SRA sold its land at Ashfield Road, which was a vital step in ensuring that SRA was able to continue to provide ongoing research, development and adoption services for the Southern growing region.
“The land at Ashfield Road was sold as it has become increasingly difficult to fully utilise the site for research purposes due to its close proximity to nearby residential encroachment, with increasing complaints from the neighbours about dust, noise and the use of agricultural chemicals,” SRA CEO Mr Neil Fisher said.
“When this was coupled with the recent re-zoning of the land as ‘emerging communities’, it meant that it would have been increasingly difficult to conduct research and farming activities on this site.
“Because of these issues, SRA’s work has been occurring on a leased property, while SRA worked on a long-term solution.”
SRA has now purchased a new 56 hectare property on the northern side of Bundaberg at Welcome Creek, which will be the new home of SRA research in the region.
“This new site is away from urban encroachment and will mean that SRA can efficiently resume research over the long-term for the region,” Mr Fisher said.
“Our long-term plan is to cement our presence in the Southern region so that we can continue important activities on behalf of sugarcane growers and millers.
“Our staff at Bundaberg conduct important activities including plant breeding and development of new varieties, soil health, farming systems, soldier fly and cane grub research, adoption, and a range of other activities.”
Grower and Bundaberg CANEGROWERS Chairman Mr Allan Dingle said that he welcomed SRA’s commitment to research in the Southern region.
“There has been a change in the Southern region over the last two decades where some of the best soil has shifted from cane production into other agricultural uses, and this means that sugarcane production has expanded into a wide range of soils,” Mr Dingle said.
“The new site is representative of those issues facing the industry in the Southern region, and the range of soil types on which cane is grown here.”
Brad Pfeffer: 0419 175 815