Research

Decade of reef research collaboration

sugarcane la 30

An interactive map of Queensland’s cane farming districts is shining a light on the collaborative relationship between sugarcane growers and scientists working together for improved water quality for the Great Barrier Reef.

CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said the map includes 49 projects which have aimed to minimise nutrient and pesticide run-off from cane farms into catchments running towards the Reef since 2008.

“It can be quite difficult to explain just how much energy and effort the sugarcane industry is investing to improve water quality and run-off from farms,” Mr Galligan said. “This map is just a snapshot of some of the projects in which growers have been willing and able to work towards creating a strong and sustainable farming future.

“The projects up and down the coast on this map represent an enormous amount of hard work and dedication by both growers and the scientific community to protect two valuable assets – the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s sugar industry.”

Mr Galligan said while cane growers and the scientific community did not always see eye to eye on matters of reef research, this had not stopped the two working together to improve environmental outcomes while still maintaining a productive and profitable industry.

“We thank all of the organisations and individuals who are working collaboratively and constructively with us,” he said.

“It is vital that growers are given every opportunity to participate in scientific monitoring programs and to engage with researchers and industry experts, so we can all continue to work towards a shared vision of a sustainable industry operating responsibly within our environment.”

Titled Sugarcane Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) and the Great Barrier Reef, the interactive map lists many programs and initiatives funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments.

The projects are around water quality and monitoring, soil and nutrient planning, chemical use and best management practices, stretching from the Wet Tropics to the Burnett-Mary region.

This article was first published in Leading Agriculture.