Pos­i­tive move by ag sec­tor

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

A $10 MIL­LION Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment in­vest­ment, through the Reef Trust III pro­gram, is pro­vid­ing more lo­cal ex­ten­sion sup­port to cane grow­ers by work­ing with them on sus­tain­able man­age­ment prac­tices.

The Wet Trop­ics Sugar In­dus­try Part­ner­ship (WTSIP) is de­liv­er­ing the pro­gram through a team of 10 ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers who are work­ing oneon-one and with groups of grow­ers across the Wet Trop­ics.

The part­ner­ship is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween 15 part­ners in­clud­ing lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions Cane­grow­ers Moss­man and Moss­man Agri­cul­tural Ser­vices.

WTSIP chair­man Joe Marano said all 15 part­ners recog­nised the im­por­tance of work­ing to­gether to help achieve a more sus­tain­able cane in­dus­try.

“There is a lot of in­vest­ment com­ing into the re­gion and we want to make sure that it ben­e­fits cane grow­ers with im­proved yields and prof­its as well as achiev­ing wa­ter qual­ity out­comes for the Great Bar­rier Reef,” he said.

The team of ex­ten­sion of­fi­cers are work­ing within part­ner or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Re­gional ex­ten­sion of­fi­cer Daryl Parker and dis­trict ex­ten­sion of­fi­cer, Tim Liebelt are work­ing in the Moss­man re­gion and are hosted by Moss­man Agri­cul­tural Ser­vices.

Mr Parker said they were work­ing with ex­ist­ing ex­ten­sion pro­grams in Moss­man, which was why they were be­ing hosted by Moss­man Ag.

“Tim will ini­tially be work­ing with Re­becca Stone in help­ing lo­cal grow­ers de­velop whole of farm nu­tri­ent man­age­ment plans. How­ever, in the longer term he will be work­ing not just on nu­tri­ents but on the whole farm­ing sys­tem, in­clud­ing pes­ti­cides and sed­i­ment,” he said.

To find out more about the Wet Trop­ics Sugar In­dus­try Part­ner­ship and its pro­grams go to www.wtsip.org.au.

Cane farmer, Chris McClel­land and ex­ten­sion of­fi­cer Tim Liebelt are ex­cited about a new pro­gram to help im­prove wa­ter qual­ity in the Great Bar­rier Reef la­goon.

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