Farmer is top Doug
AFTER growing cane since 1969, a career that has not been without its setbacks, Mossman farmer Doug Rasmussen has been given the prestigious Rural Award for his contribution to sustainable farming practices.
At a gala function attended by 300 farmers, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday night, Mr Rasmussen was awarded the 2012 Queensland Premier’s Sustainability Award for his Sugarcane Sustainability Project.
Just two of the many initiatives he has put in place include the creation of sediment traps on his farm, shifting topsoil and laser levelling each block when it becomes vacant so rainfall travels slowly and evenly to the sediment trap and follows the contouring of blocks to stop erosion.
He said the advantage of laser-levelling pinpoints the location of the sediment traps so any topsoil washed away during the wet season is captured and can be applied to the areas which are situated lower.
He said the use of filter mud has reduced fertiliser use by 25 per cent.
Mr Rasmussen is also trialling the use of a product called Twin N which is an organic fertiliser which he has applied to just 50 acres of his property.
“I have to stress that this is only a test sample of cropping at the moment but it appears that it could have a wider application,” he said.
“But we have only been using this product since last December and I will apply it to another 50 acres this coming season and continue to monitor its effectiveness over costly artificial fertilisers.
“And that is what this is about really, cutting our costs because we can only do anything with the resources that we have.
“And by doing this we have also found a better and more sustainable way to farm.”
Top dog: Winner of cane farming sustainability Doug Rasmussen with his award.