Working with growers to improve farm profitability and reef water quality
The project works with and recognises growers who tweak their farming system in such a way that soil health is improved, reducing operational time and cost whilst improving water quality (reduced sediment, reduced DIN, reduced pesticide) for better reef outcomes.
There are three main components to the project:
Cash grants of 50% can be paid for eligible drainage expenses. Examples include drainage plans, erosion mitigation works, laser levelling, sub-surface drainage pipes, spoon drains, V drains and sediment traps.
Interest free loans are provided to growers for machinery modifications and purchase of additional equipment and machinery.
Project Uplift team support – MSF Sugar manages all aspects of the Grant and Loan process with a dedicated project team based at Gordonvale. The team provides support for growers wishing to join the program. The team also administers the program and provides agronomic advice where required.
Who funds the project?
Project Uplift is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth, Growers and MSF Sugar (the Project manager) that aims to increase the resilience of the sugar industry and the sustainability of the Great Barrier Reef. The Project is funded by the Commonwealth Government Reef Trust to support Growers in the adoption of the SRA Farming System by way of Grant funding.
What is the SRA Farming System?
The project assists growers who are adopting the SRA Farming System. The System was developed by the Sugar Yield Decline Joint Venture research program. It has four components:
1. Controlled Traffic (matching row spacing to machinery widths);
2. Minimum Tillage (reducing the number of equipment passes and/or adoption of zonal tillage);
3. Legume Fallow Crops; and
4. Green Cane Harvesting and maintaining the Trash Blanket.
Who is eligible?
Growers who hold a current Cane Supply Agreement with an MSF Sugar Mill and who have not adopted all four components of the SRA Farming System and are in the GBR catchment.
Do you want to know more?
Growers can contact the Project Uplift team as follows.
Telephone on (07) 4043 3356
Pictured above – The Project Uplift Team – Nigel Young, Michael Porta, Debra Quabba and Graham Cripps
Below is a link to a Case Study in Controlled Traffic Farming undertaken in the Cairns region in 2019