Archive for February, 2023

Project Catalyst Forum a hit with growers and industry

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Last week, the Project Catalyst Forum was held in Cairns. Project Catalyst aims to support innovative growers in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin, and Mackay Whitsundays regions. The project has a partnership with over 150 growers who are leading the way in cutting-edge management practices.

After a 1 year hiatus, the Forum returned in 2023 with a focus on growing ideas and advancing best practice. The forum featured grower guest speakers, as well as speakers from GBRF, the Reef Restoration Foundation, QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), Cultivate Farms, Coca-Cola, and Evolution Industries. While, other presentations delivered by on-ground service providers, like HCPSL, highlighted Catalyst grower trials and projects.

HCPSL Extension Agronomists, Megan Zahmel and Bethany Donker lead Project Catalyst in the Herbert. Megan and Bethany along will Herbert Catalyst growers delivered an insightful presentation on current innovation trials in the Herbert. These Herbert trials have key focus on precision agriculture. Megan and Bethany discussed zonal imidacloprid, variable rate phosphorus and drone technology for mapping and monitoring weeds.

Above: HCPSL Extension Agronomists Bethany Bonker and Megan Zahmel
Above: Bethany Bonker and Megan Zahmel present at the 2023 Project Catalyst Forum in Cairns.

Ellie McVeigh, HCPSL Extension Agronomist and grower Hayden Di Bella discussed the Cultivate Farms project. Ellie presented on the project’s activities, challenges, barriers, and successes. While Hayden gave growers a unique insight into his experience in the project.

Above: HCPSL Extension Agronomist Ellie McVeigh, Herbert grower
Hayden Di Bella and Cultivate Farms founder Sam Marwood.

Day 2 of the Forum involved a field trip to the FNQ Food Incubator, Mt Uncle Distillery and Agave plantation, as well as North Qld Tropical Seeds.

The Project Catalyst Forum proved valuable for both growers and industry. The forum provided attendees with the opportunity to learn more about innovative practices, discuss industry issues, share ideas, and ask questions of their peers and industry experts. 

A digital copy of the 2023 Forum Magazine can be found on the Project Catalyst page of the HCPSL website:

Herbert Growers Keen To Improve Their Knowledge Around Pesticide Use

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

On Wednesday, HCPSL’s Project CaNE team hosted a ‘Smarter Pesticide Use’ workshop. Over 80 growers from across the Herbert came along to learn and discuss pesticides available to industry and how to use them appropriately on their farms. Highlights from the day included presentations from Associate Professor Michael Warne (Director, Reef Catchments Science Partnership) on the Pesticide Decision Support Tool and Senior Reef Project Officer, Andrew Ygosse (DAF) on changes to the regulations.

Throughout the day, numerous industry experts presented on a range of topics. From pesticides in waterways, to managing drift, pest control using drones, crop ripening and new herbicide technologies.

HCPSL and the Project CaNE team would like to thank all growers who attended the workshop, shared ideas and discussed experiences around pesticide use.

Project CaNE is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

HCPSL Walk & Talk 2023!

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

HCPSL invites you to the 2023 Annual Walk & Talk!

Date: Wednesday 15th March 2023

Commencing: 8am to 2pm

Location: HCPSL & SRA Office, 181 Fairford Road Ingham

Displays and Presentations will include:

RSVP Friday 10th March:

For catering purposes, please RVSP to HCPSL on (07) 4776 1808

How to download your Farm Map from the Wilmar Grower Web

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Download or view the file below to find simple instructions on downloading your Farm Map from the Wilmar Grower Web.

2023 Regen Cane Farming Forum comes to Ingham!

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

If you are a Cane Farmer or work in the industry then come along to this exciting event of networking and sharing of practical information.

Learn from farmers who are innovating and making changes to their farming system as they share their experience in the paddock.

The forum will include small group visits to 4 farms in the Ingham district over 2 days along with a fantastic social night of networking and a chance to meet innovative companies supporting cane farmers who are sponsoring the event.

For further information visit The Regenerative Cane Farming Forum website here.


Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Come along to hear from multiple presenters, on a variety of topics surrounding pesticide use. All growers welcome to attend.

Wednesday 22nd February 2023

From 8:30am to 3pm

Herbert River Crushers Clubhouse, Sportsman Parade, Ingham.

For catering purposes, please RSVP by Friday 17th of February to the HCPSL Office on (07) 4776 1808.

Project CaNE™ is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.