ARCHIVED Virtual Bus Tour


This new section will include articles and short videos of good farming practices.  We are calling it a 'Virtual Bus Tour' because it is a way of seeing how cane growers have implemented best management practice on their farms, without leaving yours. 

Putting this new technology on our website has been made possible through a partnership between CANEGROWERS and two Federal Government programs - Reef Rescue and Farm Ready.  More information on both important Australian Government programs can be found below. Strap yourselves in and get ready for your tour of Australian cane farms, online. 


  Australian Sugarcane Industry Movie

GOOD FARM PRACTICE (high bandwidth required) 
  Virtual Bus Tour Introduction
        with Ian Ballantyne NEW
  Integrated Whole Farm Planning
        Granshaw family, Burdekin NEW
  Good Practice for Water Quality
        Steve Calcagno, Babinda NEW
  Automated Irrigation Trials & Water Monitoring
        Russell Jordan, Burdekin  NEW
  Automated Overhead Irrigation Systems
        Maryann Salvetti, Tablelands NEW
  Technology Making Good Farming Practice Easier
        Mark Savina, Cairns NEW
  Onfarm and Waterway Management
        Doug Cress, Mossman NEW
  Wrap up & credits
        by Ian Ballantyne NEW

NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT (high bandwidth required)
Nutrient Management Introduction 
       Justin Anderson, Childers
Efficient Surface Application
       Tony Chapman, Alloway (Isis) 

Watering in Fertiliser
       Vince Germanotta, Mackay 

Subsurface Application 
       Peter Tabaldi, Mossman
       Geoff Plath, Farnsfield (Isis) 
Precision Agriculture in Fertilising
       Phillip Deguara, Mackay 
Liquid One Shot
       Brian Machan, Tully 
Mill Ash
       Ramon Marbelli, Ingham 

Zonal Mud
      Gerry Deguara, Mackay 

Sediment Management
       Phil Tarditi, Tully 
Nitrogen from Legumes
       Gavin Kedar, Burdekin 
Compost Application
       Adrian Ross, Maryborough 
       John Ross, Mackay 

With thanks to CANEGROWERS partners in this project

CANEGROWERS partnered with the Australian Government's Farm Ready program to put together a DVD of good farm practiceFarm Ready's objective is to get information out to farmers in the best way possible to increase adoption of new practices and technologies as quickly as possible.

CANEGROWERS partnered with the Australian Government's Reef Rescue program to produce a DVD on Nutrient Management techniques.  The Reef Rescue program has an objective to improve the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, and has done so by funding $146 million in water quality grants for the  adoption of improved land management practices in agricultural commodities, including sugarcane, horticulture, cotton, grazing and dairy.  The objective of these practices is to improve the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon by reducing potential nutrient, pesticide and sediment load while helping improve farm productivity and profitability.



Allen, Maryborough
Investing in precision farming technology with funding assistance through the Federal Government’s Reef Rescue Program makes good business sense for Maryborough cane grower Allen Birt. Mr Birt has been successful in his funding application through the Burnett Mary Regional NRM to receive assistance in purchasing a tractor GPS steering kit which he hopes to have operational for the spring plant.
  Click here to download this article (315 KB)
Precision Agriculture > Peter Lando, Burdekin cane grower
The term ‘precision farming’ crops up a lot when you talk to longtime Burdekin grower Peter Lando. Peter is enthusiastic about the way the Federal Government’s Reef Rescue scheme helps growers review their practices and adopt better ways of doing things. He recently received a Reef Rescue second round grant from NQ Dry Tropics towards the cost of installing GPS on a new mid-range JD 6930 tractor for cultivation. As well as saving time, labour, fuel and maintenance costs due to less distance travelled and fewer row turns, GPS guidance will allow him to put fertiliser precisely where it needs to be to maximise benefit to plants while minimising likelihood of nutrients escaping off-farm. Precision farming will also enable him to present his drills in good condition for harvesting and to get back into the field sooner after rain.
  Click here to download this article (384 KB)

Farmer Bill, Cairns Region
Best Practice using GPS

A 5-year development program including GPS guidance and controlled traffic will play an important role in minimising future compaction and erosion, as well as providing significant savings in fuel, time and wear and tear. In addition to this, the program includes progression to a variable rate fertiliser applicator. These improvements to farming practices became fast tracked as a result of Reef Rescue funding which helped Cairns cane grower Bill Smith acquire a John Deere RTK GPS, providing auto steer for his JD 7610 tractor.
  Click here to download this article (208 KB)

Cane, bananas part of sustainable family business > David Singh, Tablelands cane grower

Constant reminders of the symbiosis between agriculture and tourism in far north Queensland.  Here, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, sugarcane and banana industries rub shoulders with tourist attractions, underscoring the important role that farming best practice has in ensuring the Reef’s continued good
health. Cane grower David Singh has trialled a myriad of new technologies on his Tablelands farm - the latest being a a purpose built Daybreak soybean planter to work in trashy conditions, made possible sooner with Reef Rescue funding.  The Singh family is using best practice, assisted by Reef Rescue funding, to boost cane production from 36,000 t to 50,000 t by 2011. Right: The 3-row mounder used as part of their best practice farming system.
  Click here to download this article (384 KB)

Water sub surface trickle irrigation > Joe Linton, Burdekin cane grower
Joe Linton has received a federal Reef Rescue grant via NQ Dry Tropics to establish infrastructure for a drip irrigation trial on his 6000-tonne farm
on Kirknie Road, Home Hill. Potential benefits from trickle include greatly reduced water demand from the underground aquifer, possible less nutrients escaping into the water table through deep infiltration, reduced deep drainage, elimination of run-off, staged nutrient application through the system, lower electricity bills for pumping and higher productivity with fewer inputs.
  Click here to download this article (538 KB)

Water automated irrigation trials & targeted input application > Les Durnsford, Mackay cane grower
Despite the recent announcements from Queensland State Premier Anna Bligh, the Durnsford family of Wagoora (65kms north of Mackay) believe they have always done a good job of
protecting their land’s yield potential. While quick to give the thumbs down to increased regulation at the State level, the Durnsfords say the Federal Governments proactive Reef Rescue program is helping growers afford to make convert to new technology sooner that they would otherwise have been able.  They used Reef Rescue funding to purchase a Rainstar ES1 hard hose irrigator which helps them to make the best use of water and has been a real help in irrigating their plant and ratoon cane.
  Click here to download this article (647 KB)


Whole farm planning & water control through drainage management > Barry Mackay, Tully cane grower
The cane focus is on maximising productivity from existing land area with practices that meet or exceed highest industry standards of best practice. The Mackay family is committed to adapting management as new information and opportunities arise.  Their ability to farm sustainably and profitably will be greatly enhanced by Reef Rescue funded projects designed to improve drainage in the sensitive Cherrin Creek catchment and to progress implementation of zonal and zero tillage in a controlled traffi c farming system based dual rows 600 mm apart on 1.9 m row spacing.
  Click here to download this article (384 KB)