Over 250 cane growers, stretching from Mossman in far north Queensland to Harwood in New South Wales, travelled to Yamba to attend the two day Grower Innovation Virtual Expo (GIVE) on Monday 12th March.
Joe Muscat from Grower Group Services said GIVE provides an opportunity for growers to present results about their own on-farm research funded through SRDC’s Grower Group Innovation Project program.
“This is the fourth time a GIVE event has drawn cane growers of all ages together to discuss how new farming techniques and machinery innovations are working on-farm,” Mr Muscat said.
The agenda included field trips to the Broadwater Mill Cogeneration Plant, visits to Alan Munro and Shane Causley’s farms to see crop trials and machinery innovations, and the chance to hear results from 12 grower group projects.
The presentations covered a diverse range of topics including soybean Nitrogen contributions to cane crops, how to maximise centre pivot efficiencies, build sediment traps, apply mill mud, new harvesting techniques and the best ways to source nitrogen and fibre on a cane farm.
SRDC Executive Director Annette Sugden was the first person to present at the GIVE conference about the role of SRDC, upcoming funding opportunities and future directions for research.
“For generations cane growers have successfully designed their own innovative technology, performed research trials and created new farming techniques to suit their own environment and farming system,” Ms Sugden said.
“By funding Grower Group Innovation Projects, SRDC is able to support an effective method of project delivery to localise research and encourage group adoption of best farm management techniques.
“It’s important for cane growers to hear about the kind of applied research we are funding, so that they are fully aware of the return they are getting on their investment levy,” Ms Sugden said.
GIVE Committee Chairman Nathan Ensbey said the expo was a phenomenal success, with positive feedback received about the integrity of research and dissemination of results.
“The research being done by these growers is highly innovative, and from feedback I have received, it is evident this kind of grower interaction is of benefit to the whole sugarcane industry,” Mr Ensbey said.
“As a member of a grower group, I have noticed our group now has a renewed energy for research following GIVE and we look forward to trialling some of the research outcomes here in NSW,” Mr Ensbey said.
At the conclusion of the GIVE conference, John Agnew received first prize for his presentation about effective use of lower mill mud rates. The runner up prize went to Lawrence Di Bella who spoke about his recent trip to the US and how their sugarcane production is changing.
“Due to the large amount of sponsorship received for GIVE, we were able to keep registration costs down to $60 per person,” Mr Ensbey said.
Many thanks to members of the GIVE organising committee including representatives from NSW Sugar, SRDC and Grower Group Services who provided a lot of financial and in-kind event support.
Growers who didn’t get a chance to attend GIVE can view all presentations slides from the NSW Sugar website www.nswsugar.com.au
ACFA Brings Next-Gen Farmers to GIVE
The ACFA, with the help of the SRDC was able bring young farmers from across the industry to the GIVE conference