Snapshot of Australian sugarcane industry statistics
It has been over seven years since a national survey of sugarcane growers was completed in 2008. Having baseline industry data will enable us to measure changes in productivity, profitability and the impact SRA research investments are making across our regions.
To ensure our research programs remain relevant and of value to the industry, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) will conduct research with growers over the coming months.
Funded by SRA and the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry this research will collect and disseminate representative data on the physical and financial performance of cane growing farms by region.
The results will assist SRA in targeting research and development activities and aid industry planning, decision making and strategy development.
The survey will cover questions concerning farm structure, land use, production, capital, income, costs, debts, assets and farm labour for the last financial year, and estimates for 2014–2015. There will also be questions on farm management practices, application of new technology and future farm plans.
SRA is grateful for cane farmers support for this research. I encourage all growers to participate in the survey. Each business will receive a confidential report containing their farm survey results, together with the average results for their region and will be notified when the overall industry report has been published.
Confidentiality and privacy of any information provides to ABARES officers will be protected and data aggregated in such a way that individual participants cannot be identified in any publication or release.
Building capability and careers across sugarcane industry
The Research Funding Panel was very pleased to receive numerous high quality applications for the 2015 Sugar Industry Travel and Learning (STL) Awards and Early Career and Mid-Career Awards (ECMC) Awards.
The applications sought funding across the full range of industry defined strategic imperatives – industry growth, cost and profitability, environmental and regulatory, and diversification.
A total of 16 STLA recipients (13 individuals and three groups) and two EMCA recipients was approved by the SRA Board.
SRA saw this funding call as an opportunity to generate new research ideas from the broader sugar research community and other research sectors. This approach worked well with applications put forward from a number of research organisations, millers and growers that had not previously sought direct sugar industry funding.
Dr Rob Magarey recognised as Citizen of the Year for Cassowary Coast region
I wish to congratulate SRA researcher Dr Rob Magarey on receiving the Cassowary Coast’s Citizen of the Year Award as part of the 2015 Australian Day celebrations.
Rob has made a significant contribution to sugar cane research in the areas of plant pathology, epidemiology and disease management. With nearly 35 years of service, Rob joined BSES in June 1981 and today is a Principal Scientist for Biosecurity at SRA. Rob is well respected by his peers and is an outstanding mentor for many young researchers and technologists.
SRA training and development
In early February, SRA hosted an ‘Introductory sugar advisors workshop’ for 13 extension and productivity people in Meringa. This workshop was designed to give new entrants to the industry a solid foundation of all aspects of the industry value chain from growing cane and basic extension tools.
SRA is offering a two day workshop on ‘Identifying and managing sugar cane diseases’ will be held at SRA Woodford office. The advanced workshop will be held 2-3 March and Introductory workshop on 4-5 March.
SRA is pleased to sponsor the Women in Sugar conference in Ingham on 10-11 March and Case IH Step Up conference in Palm Cove 17-18 March 2015. We look forward to meeting with many delegates at both of these events. For information about SRA events and workshops visit the SRA website www.sugarresearch.com.au