A brand new manual released by Sugar Research Australia (SRA) provides sugarcane growers, millers, and advisors with a complete run-down on the latest research and information for growing a healthy sugarcane crop.
Called the Australian Sugarcane Nutrition Manual, it is available free to growers, millers, and stakeholders through SRA in hardcopy and electronic formats.
SRA CEO Mr Neil Fisher said good crop nutrition is fundamental to the industry’s productivity, profitability, and sustainability.
“This new manual arms the Australian sugarcane industry with valuable information to gain a better understanding of their crop’s nutrition, which is underpinned by the SIX EASY STEPS® nutrient management program for fertiliser guidelines,” Mr Fisher said.
“SIX EASY STEPS is a science-based nutrient management tool that enables the adoption of best practice nutrient management on-farm. It is acknowledged as industry best-practice for nutrient management to optimise productivity and profitability without adversely influencing soil fertility or causing off-farm impacts.”
Mr Fisher said the Australian sugarcane industry had already made huge improvements to its nutrient management, which was delivering positive environmental outcomes and improved profitability.
“SRA continues to provide robust and independent research in this field and we assist our industry investors to optimise productivity and profitability while also moving towards meeting water quality targets,” he said.
“The Nutrition Manual is another valuable tool in the toolbox to help growers and advisors access this information. It is an example of SRA’s commitment to ensuring that research is translated into practical outcomes in the paddock and at the mill.
“Looking ahead, and beyond this manual, SRA has exciting research projects underway looking at important topics such as the nitrogen use efficiency of sugarcane varieties and the viability of enhanced efficiency fertilisers. Growers, millers, and industry will hear more about these projects as results are gathered in the months and years ahead.”
Herbert region grower Mr Chris Bosworth welcomed the publication of the manual and said marrying profitability and sustainability was crucial.
“The Great Barrier Reef is right off our coast. We want to protect the Reef as we have already been doing,” Mr Bosworth said. “If we are losing nutrients from our farm to the Reef, it’s not growing any cane out there and it is costing us money.
“I don’t want nutrients leaving my paddock, and this manual is a tool that can help with that. The least amount of nutrient that I can put on to grow a good crop, the better.”