Weather: A turnaround in the rainfall! It is still coming, but with sun in between. Dams with inflows are still running over, but turkey nest dams are evaporating for the first time since August last year.
There is some irrigation on the drier blocks. Crops on the red hills are powering ahead with the autumn sun, but the water logged areas are definitely lagging.
Crop Estimates were conducted in April. With a fair bit of variability in density of the ratoons, it will be harder than usual to be accurate. The early start and late start teams will be gearing up for a tussle as we don’t want to be caught again and all that standover; but then the late-cut ratoons are so far behind. Maybe we should start on the standover and when that’s all gone, go fishing for a month and then cut ratoons at 15 CCS.
On the Research debate, our region was fortunate to have SRCD visit and hold two expos of the research they fund. The speakers who are some of the researchers gave brief and clear presentations of their work. Some of these projects are so obviously exactly what is needed; some may be a little more difficult to follow, but I didn’t see wasted effort or ‘research for researches sake’ happening. SRDC administrators are real people and want to be seen as independent research funders, responding to genuine need. Chairman Ian Causley has a lifetime of sugar industry experience and has given the SRDC more body, I feel.
Carbon, carbon and more carbon! High school chemistry teaches us that carbon is the building block of life. I just hope it’s not the building block of an empire of destruction. I recently attended a Carbon Footprint workshop hosted by Bundaberg Fruit and Vegie Growers. Not many attended. In fact there were more bank Loans officers there than farmers. It’s huge! Our region’s farms came out ahead on points; it’s just that I don’t get it. The best advice from a DEEDI presenter, who was trying to show what was in it for farmers, was to work on soil carbon. A small % increase in soil carbon will create a large amount of offsets. An offset is like a fuel rebate. Add up all the carbon you put out, then take away the carbon you put into soil (these are called offsets) and there you have your net amount of carbon for tax. This is not happening yet, but, this was the scenario set out at the Carbon Footprint workshop. It was not a pleasant couple of hours but it did give me a real handle!