Waterways report card released in tropics
FAR North Queensland sugarcane growers should stand proud with the release of a report card on the condition of the waterways of the Wet Tropics region, Canegrowers said.
“Eight of the nine catchments between the Daintree and Herbert rivers have been graded as Good (B) or Very Good (A) in this report card,” Canegrowers CEO Dan Galligan said.
“That is a great outcome for the year to June 2017 and a recognition of the commitment of the sugarcane industry,” Mr Galligan said.
“This region is home to around 40 per cent of Queensland’s sugarcane farmland where growers have embraced best practice on their farms to improve the quality of the water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.
“Only one waterway was given a C rating and that was because there was insufficient data for water quality.”
Canegrowers is focussed on the sugarcane industry being an important part of the future of the region’s economy, communities and environment.
“A key part of our commitment is meeting community expectations and we are seeing huge positive change in the industry,” Mr Galligan said.
“We’re very proud of that change and it is heartening to see it contribute to results such as the assessments in this report card.”
In the Wet Tropics region 80 per cent of the sugarcane farming businesses have benchmarked their practices in the industry’s Smartcane BMP program while 30 per cent have moved through an independent audit to become accredited.
Best practices involve managing cane paddocks and landscapes to avoid sediment loss, minimise the need for herbicides and target their use when necessary, use the optimum fertiliser rate and apply it in a way that keeps it in the crop.