Date Posted

23 April, 2018

Posted by

Cathy Weis

Sugarcane growers, millers, and industry will learn how science is helping farmers improve their productivity and also meet water quality targets to safeguard the future of the Great Barrier Reef at an upcoming open day near Cairns.

The open day on May 1st is at SRA’s Meringa Research Station and it will feature a series of practical displays and presentations that dig deeper into the science of water quality and farming systems.

SRA Principal Researcher, Water Quality, Ms Belinda Billing said the event would feature diverse topics including catchment monitoring and modelling, cane grub management, the use of drones, legume management, recent trial results, and much more.

“This is a hands-on, practical event where we will have physical displays and presentations to showcase recent research and look at the practical applications of this for farmers,” Ms Billing said.

“There is a coordinated effort of work occurring across Far North Queensland, and this open day is a chance to put this work on display.

“On the day, attendees will interact with SRA, the Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership, chemical companies, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Department of Environment and Science, Cairns Regional Council and others.”

SRA is currently investing in research into specific issues that relate to water quality and the implications for productivity, profitability and sustainability for sugarcane growers and millers.

Ms Billing leads two projects working with Wet Tropics growers looking at on farm demonstration of practices that can improve water quality and connect industry with water quality science.

“As the lead research agency for the Australian sugarcane industry, SRA plays a pivotal role investing in and researching activities related to the interaction between farming systems and water quality,” Ms Billing said. “Several of these projects will be showcased at the open day.”

Mulgrave grower Mr Glen Anderson supports SRA’s water quality projects and believes that they provide a fantastic opportunity for growers to learn more about water quality issue and how to make a difference on farm.

“Having demonstrations on farm with SRA projects means that I can see for myself if things work and the difference I can make to water quality. Being able to learn and improve my understanding is important to me,” Mr Anderson said.

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