This time we will be back in Ingham, North Queensland. If you are a Cane Farmer or work in the industry then join us for this exciting event of networking and sharing of practical information.
Learn from cane 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.
Growers and industry professionals from all districts welcome to attend!
Following the Walk & Talk, HCPSL held the annual Industry Awards. The awards recognise grower’s commitment to productivity, innovation, research, and the boarder industry. HCPSL is proud to announce the award recipients below.
Grower of the Year (Sponsored by Wilmar) – Chris Butler
Young Grower of the Year (Sponsored by Wilmar) – Anthony Marino
Mangrove Jack Award (Sponsored by Herbert River Catchment Group) – Remo Pietrobon
Harvesting Efficiency Award (Sponsored by SRA) – GNC Harvesting (Greg & Nicole Chiesa)
Innovation Award (Sponsored by Rabobank) – Agro Group
Farm Presentation for Harvesting Award (Sponsored by Honeycombs) – A & S Castorina
Improved Farm Layout Award (Sponsored by Canegrowers Herbert River) – Robert Bonassi (Roblea Investments)
R&D On-Farm Co-operation (Sponsored by HCPSL) – Geoff Low, Pace Farming, Paul Cantamessa, and Jeff Cantamessa
Lifetime Achievement Award (Sponsored by HCPSL) – Dr. Rob Magarey, Steve Guazzo, and Tony McClintock
Last week over 90 growers attended HCPSL’s annual Walk and Talk. Growers had the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding on a range of topics including – variety development & new varieties, mill mud & ash benefits, managing diseases, the soil biome, micronutrients, as well as reef & carbon credits.
The HCPSL Team would like to say thank you to all growers who attended, asked questions, shared experiences, and participated in open discussions throughout the day.
HCPSL would also like to extend our thanks to the sponsors and supporting organisations of the 2022 Walk & Talk Day – GBRF, Australian Government Reef Trust, Agro Group, Green Collar, Project CaNE, Project Catalyst, Soil CRC, Sugar Research Australia, Stoller and Wilmar.
Join Sugar Research Australia and engage with industry representatives of growers, millers, and productivity service organisations. Regional Variety Committees (RVCs) decide on the final stages of the breeding pipeline and whether a variety is released and to be grown commercially.
When: 8.30am – 12.30pm, Wednesday 5 April 2023 Where: Royal Hotel, 44/40-46 Lannercoast Street, Ingham
The votes have been counted for the 2023 HCPSLGrower Board elections.
Four candidates contested the 2023 HCPSL Grower Board elections, to fill the 3 positions on the HCPSL Board.
The results of the election are as follows:
Gino Zatta- 79 votes
Michael Pisano- 72 votes
Greg Erkkila- 66 votes
Anthony Girgenti- 55 votes
Number of informal votes- 3
Gino Zatta, Michael Pisano and Greg Erkkila are the 3 growers elected to the HCPSL Board.
HCPSL would like to thank all growers who nominated for the election.
These three growers will be joined on the Board with the 3 Mill appointed Board members:
A special thanks to our outgoing Board members: Nicole Butler (Miller Board member) and Michael Waring (Grower Board member) (who did not seek re-election) for their dedication and years of service to the company.
The vote count was supervised by Peter Timms (HCPSL Commercial Services Manager) as the Returning Officer and independent observers / vote counters Greg Shannon (Tully Sugar Productivity Manager) and Peter Sutherland (Tully Cane Productivity Services Manager).
The new Board will be installed on the 28th of March 2023.
Signed: Peter Timms, HCPSL Commercial Services Manager.
Dr. Alan Garside “The Father of the Modern Sugarcane farming system” passed away on the 10th of March 2023, in Townsville. A service to celebrate Alan’s life was held at Morley’s funeral house Townsville on the 16th of March, with family, friends, and representatives from the Australian sugarcane industry in attendance.
Alan led the Sugarcane Yield Decline Joint Venture Program, for 14 years through the early 1990- early 2000’s. This was the largest research program ever undertaken by the Australian sugarcane industry. Alan brought together a multidisciplinary team of scientists to investigate why cane yields were declining in the industry. The key findings of the program are still relevant today:
Breaking the sugarcane monoculture with rotational crops.
Increase soil organic matter through the use of soil amendments and cover crops.
Management of compaction.
Remediating soils that were constrained by factors like high levels of sodium or aluminium, low organic carbon and salinity.
Minimizing tillage to maintain soil structure and organic matter.
Management soil borne diseases (like Pachymetra) through the use of variety rotations.
Management of soil pests like nematodes through break crops and other means.
Other notable agricultural successes include the development of the Northern Australian soybean industry, with Alan being involved with the selection of 2 significant varieties, one being Leichardt.
Alan was also well recognized internationally, working with agriculture industries across four continents- Australia, Asia, Africa and South America during his working career.
Alan was commissioned by HCPSL in the early 2010’s to undertake a study into the productivity constraints of the Herbert sugarcane industry.
Alan lived a fruitful and eventful life. The poem “That Man is a Success” is a testament of Alan’s life.
That Man Is A Success
That Man is a success who has lived well,
Laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men and women and
the love of children;
who has filled his niche and
accomplished his task;
who leaves the world
better than he found it,
who has never lacked
appreciation of Earth’s
beauty or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others,
and gave the very best he had.
Alan’s knowledge, passion for agriculture and friendship will be greatly missed.
Earlier this week, the Project CaNE Team met with project funders, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) – who visited Project CaNE growers across the Herbert to gain an on-ground understanding of the projects in the Lower Herbert Water Quality Program. The GBRF team, were interested to hear from Project CaNE growers who shared their experiences and thoughts, and provided valuable feedback to funders for the future.
The visit allowed the Project CaNE team and growers to share in how the project has assisted and supported growers in the Herbert to improve practices that not only benefit productivity and profitability, but also water quality.
Project CaNE™ is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
HCPSL received a visit by Queensland Senator the Hon. James McGrath last Thursday (2nd of March) to gain a better understanding of the sugarcane industry and activities undertaken by HCPSL.
The Hon. Senator James McGrath was elected to the Senate for Queensland in 2013, re-elected in 2016 and 2022. The Senator is currently the Deputy Chair of Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.
The Senator met with the HCPSL Company Manager- Lawrence Di Bella and HCPSL Administration Manager- Sue Beccaris to discuss pest and disease issues experienced by the local industry and other company related matters.
HCPSL would like to thank the Senator for taking the time to visit HCPSL in his very busy schedule.