3 December 2013
ACFA Media Release
At the official launch of the Smartcane BMP program, Australian Canefarmers Association Chairman Don Murday has said that the Qld BMP has brought farmers together under a common objective; demonstrating leadership and ownership of the issue of sustainable sugarcane farming, in order to minimise negative off-farm impacts, while focusing on profitability.
‘This BMP system is more about leadership than compliance: it is a single, integrated resource that can help cane farmers to better understand their farms and to plan better, in order to reduce loss and improve the bottom line,’ said Mr Murday.
‘Farmers who become Smartcane accredited, will bring together the good things they are doing and become formally recognised for it.
‘As the amount of farmers that complete the program increases, the industry can increase in confidence by demonstrating that leadership
‘Smartcane BMP is totally voluntary and would be of value to farmers from a whole of farm business management perspective.
‘The web-based Smartcane application is a practical tool which allows access from anywhere with an internet connection. It will mostly do away with the need for double entry of records and the data will be of much greater use to farmers than a paper system,’ said Mr Murday
‘The Newman Government has seen the value of getting behind cane farmers to help us tell our story and sell our credentials in a recognised and meaningful way. It is up to farmers to “put a toe in the water” and give the program a go,’ Mr Murday said.
‘Farmers who are not computer experienced or who need a helping hand can rely on their local Smartcane advisor to help them complete the program.
‘The best approach is to make a start with one module and see how you go.
‘Work on practice improvement in the Australian sugar industry has been moving positively forward for decades. Individuals and groups have been doing great things for improved sustainability and water quality – this BMP program builds on that.
‘The Smartcane program follows on the heels of successful BMP programs in other industries such as cotton, grain and grazing.
‘These industries have learned that for industries, self-regulation is the only acceptable form of regulation,’ Mr Murday said.