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.
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.
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.
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.
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.“
Following the informative Mill By-product Analysis presentation in July of last year, the Project CaNE team recently held a Mill By-product infield demonstration with Agro Group showcasing the latest technology and methods for applying mill-by products.
Extension Agronomist Graeme Holzberger shared how the workshop was a valuable opportunity for growers to see first-hand how the products are applied.
“To actually see the truck applying it out and have Kristen there to show the process and explain how to manage it…answered a lot of questions.“
Discussions with Project CaNE Extension Agronomists on the day touched on various topics of grower interest, including storing and managing the product once it arrives on farm, application methods such as banding, and the implications for fertiliser rates following different by-product applications.
“One of the growers already uses a product on one of his farms. He was looking at sending mud down to another farm a bit further from the mill. He was concerned about the different environment, different soil type and how that might change the effectiveness of the mud.
Another grower is from the Coolbie Rollingstone district, has never had access to the product but was keen to give it a go. Being there and seeing the process and having those questions answered, he is now considering taking up the practice.“
– Graeme Holzberger, HCPSL Extension Agronomist
Have any questions of your own around mill mud or ash? Contact HCSPL (07) 4776 1808 to speak with an Agronomist. To learn more about Clear as Mud demonstrations under Project CaNE, visit the HCPSL website: https://hcpsl.com/current-projects/project-cane-tm/
As part of Project CaNE’s ‘Clear As Mud’ Demonstration Program, growers across the Herbert have had the opportunity to assess various mill mud application rates and methods on their farms.
At one of the sites, the project team is investigating the sub-surface application of mill mud. Sub-surface applications can provide benefits to the grower, as well as the broader environment. This application method limits nutrient loss for the grower, as more of the applied product remains in the block after rainfall. Additionally, this reduces sediment and nutrient runoff into local waterways.
The images below have been captured at a local grower’s block. The images illustrate the application method being investigated as part of ‘Clear As Mud’.