Archive for the ‘Soil and Nutrient Management’ Category

HCPSL on show to the Herbert Grower Representatives

Posted by Rod Neilson

On Tuesday the 25th of July, HCPSL was on show with Herbert grower representatives attending a bus trip to HCPSL sites. Representatives from ACFA, AgForce, Herbert River CANEGROWERS and HCQR, as well as HCPSL Board members and staff, got to view firsthand the on-ground services and extension activities that HCPSL delivers to the Herbert cane industry.

Photo above- Lawrence Di Bella (HCPSL Company Manager) and Rhiannan Harragon (HCPSL Field Agronomist) discussing Approved Seed cane options and tissue culture.

Grower representatives had presentations or viewed firsthand the following:

Rhiannan Harragon (HCPSL Field Agronomist) also presented data on the number of growers who requested RSD testing of seed cane for planting and the level of RSD infection. To date it was revealed that 69% of growers had not tested their seed cane prior to planting and that 9% of the samples tested were infected with RSD. The grower representatives all agreed it is very concerning growers were not testing their seed cane sources before planting and that there was a high level of RSD infection in growers seed cane. Growers are urged to purchase Approved Seed cane from HCPSL to curb the infection of RSD in commercial cane crops and to take advantage of the free seed cane inspection service HCPSL provides.

The day was very successful with Grower representatives leaving satisfied with the services being provided by HCPSL to their members.

Photo above- Adam Royle (HCPSL Senior Extension Agronomist) and Luke Buono (JCU Tropwater Water Quality Technician) presenting to the delegates.

For more information on the services offered by HCPSL please refer to the company website- or contact the Company Manager- Lawrence Di Bella.

Attention Growers: Soil Test and Pachymetra/Nematode Request Forms

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Attention Herbert Growers – Please note price increases as of the 1st July 2023.

The Latest from Soil CRC

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Soil CRC Newsletter: June 2023

The Soil CRC research community is looking forward to the Soil Science Australia conference being held in Darwin at the end of June.

As well as the chance to spend a few days in warmer climes for most of us, it is a great opportunity to for Soil CRC researchers and students to present their work to their peers and to hear about other research being undertaken across Australia. Read more about the Soil CRC’s contribution to this conference below.

On the subject of conferences, planning is progressing for the Soil CRC Participants Conference in Launceston, Tasmania at the end of August. Watch out for registration details in coming weeks. There is plenty of other activity going on in the Soil CRC, some of which is highlighted in the newsletter below.

Stay in touch with the Soil CRC and follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

Dr Michael Crawford
CEO, Soil CRC 


Posted by Ellie McVeigh

With current fertiliser prices, it is essential, now more than ever, that your fertiliser blend and rate is matched to crop requirements.

Taking a soil sample ensures you are not over or under applying specific crop nutrients. By taking a soil sample, a HCPSL agronomist can provide you with tailored nutrition advice, ensuring adequate crop nutrition and minimising unnecessary input application.

To make sampling easier, visit the HCPSL Office to borrow a soil auger.

If you’d like more information or advice on soil sampling, please contact HCPSL on (07) 4776 1808.

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


Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Earlier this week, the annual Regenerative Cane Farming Forum was held in Ingham. The forum attracted over 85 growers, from various districts, from the Far North to the Burdekin. The event had a practical focus, allowing forum attendees to learn and gain knowledge from farmers who have successfully changed their farming system.

As always, grower innovation was also a key theme throughout the forum. Attendees had the opportunity to visit farms and see cover crops, controlled traffic, permanent beds, soil health, compost and new machinery in action.

The forum was greatly beneficial for both growers and industry professionals. The event allowed attendees to build on existing knowledge, share ideas, discuss limitations and connect with other like-minded growers.

Thank you to the forum organisers, Soil Land and Food and the Regen Cane Network, who put together a valuable event for cane farmers in the Herbert and throughout North Queensland.

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

HCPSL hosts the 2022 Combined Productivity Services Group Conference

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Last week, HCPSL and Burdekin Productivity Services (BPS) hosted productivity services groups from across the industry at the 2022 Combined Productivity Services Group Conference. Productivity groups from Mossman to Isis were in attendance. Over 60 industry agronomists and advisors visited the Herbert to explore news ideas, discuss issues, and share findings.

Conference attendees visiting the Macknade site.

Over 2 days the groups focused on a range of topics, including – diseases, varieties, pests, technology, weeds, and nutrition. Throughout the conference, the groups discussed industry and district specific issues they faced.

Alike to the Herbert, delivering clean seed was a key triumph and core focus for many productivity groups. While RSD, pigs and rats were highlighted as common issues across various districts.

Initial presentations became the catalyst for extensive group discussion around methods for managing RSD and the effective delivery of clean seed. Conference participants then visited the Macknade site, where varieties were spotlighted. Presenters from across the industry explored the use of genomic selection, molecular markers and tissue culture.

During Day 2 the management of 2,4-D drift, weeds and feral pigs was discussed by the groups. Finally, the benefits of nutrient management, soil sampling and soil health were explored in detail by presenters. Presentations highlighted the need for soil health in sustaining productivity. To conclude the conference, interested participants were invited to visit the HCPSL hot water tanks at Victoria Mill.

Presentations and discussions from across the 2 days proved widely beneficial for all in attendance. HCPSL thanks all productivity groups and industry professionals who attended the conference and shared knowledge, contributed ideas and engaged in robust discussions.

HCPSL would like to acknowledge the following Sponsors of the 2022 Combined Productivity Services Group Conference – Wilmar, Nufarm, SRA and Burdekin Productivity Services.

Celebrating World Soil Day!

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Today is World Soil Day!

World Soil Day aims to highlight the value of healthy soil and sustainable soil management. Here’s a few reasons why soil is so important:

Below are a range of soil information resources (Sourced from Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations).

Wanting to know more on mud?

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

Herbert grower, Andrew Irvin explains how applying mud has been beneficial on his farm.

Interested to know if mill by-products have a fit on you farm?

Contact HCPSL on (07) 4776 1808 to speak to a Project CaNE Team member.

Visual storytelling: Kim Kleidon

Understanding Mill Mud: Sugar Impurity to Soil Ameliorant

Posted by Ellie McVeigh

As part of the recent focus on mill by-products, HCPSL Project CaNE and Project Catalyst staff toured Victoria Mill to develop a stronger understanding of the mill’s operation and generation of mill by-products.

The tour covered the entire process of sugar extraction, highlighting various processes that impact on the quantity and composition of mill mud.

This was the first mill tour for Project CaNE Extension Agronomist Bailey Kilpatrick who appreciated the opportunity to view the milling process from start to finish.

“You can see the effort the Mill is making to extract as much sugar as they can and clean it [from impurities such as mud] as well as they can,’” he shared.

Bailey was interested to see the clarification process with the addition of flocculant and was surprised by the quantity of mud being processed at once through vacuum filtration systems. The automation and chemical inputs such as lime required to keep the juice flowing through evenly also generated interest from the tour group.

Reflecting on the tour, Bailey noted:

“There is actually a lot that goes into getting the mud extracted, it’s not a simple process.