Latest News

Is it too late to win the war on fire ants?

1 May 2024

Fire ants are back in the news, and once again, it’s for all the wrong reasons. After almost two decades of sugarcane growers sounding the...

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Election season just getting started

22 April 2024

Local elections might be over, with new and returning councilors appointed across the state last month, but in truth, election season has only just...

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GHG – not all hot air

2 April 2024

It is hard to go anywhere these days without hearing about greenhouse gas emissions.  All levels of government, both here and around the world,...

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Smartcane BMP - A chore no more

25 March 2024

Sometimes in life, when we start something new it can seem like a bit of a chore.  It could be exercise, eating healthily, budgeting, or any one...

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Worker shortage threatens season success

26 February 2024

It’s hard to believe we’re almost into March. It seems like only yesterday we finished the 2023 sugarcane harvest, yet here we are, just...

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Better planning needed to protect prime farming land

9 February 2024

Turn on the news these days and without fail you’ll hear reports on either the cost-of-living crisis or the housing crisis, or both. In many...

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Councils must do more on pest management

26 January 2024

Footage of ‘rafts’ of Red Imported Fire Ants being swept along by floodwaters in northern New South Wales and news reports of a nest being...

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Sadly, fairness is something we must fight for

15 January 2024

Happy New Year! I hope readers had a peaceful and relaxing break over the Christmas period and are feeling motivated for all those New Year’s...

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Time to make bio-evolution a reality

6 December 2023

For some time now, people within Queensland’s sugarcane industry, me included, have been talking about an industry evolution. We’ve been...

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Harvest winds down

22 November 2023

The final countdown has begun, with Queensland’s 2023 sugarcane crush rapidly winding down across the state. Bundaberg was first to cross the...

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Next election vital for our regions

7 November 2023

The 2024 Queensland State Election is now less than a year away and already we’re seeing some soft campaigning by the major parties. We can...

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Free trade should include a fair go for farmers

24 October 2023

As I write this column, Australia’s trade minister is preparing to meet with his European counterpart to discuss, and possibly even agree, a...

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Working together we can achieve much

6 October 2023

Disunity is death - it’s a phrase you often hear bandied about, especially in politics. And it’s true, of course, in all aspects of...

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Time for sugar marketers to step up

26 September 2023

Earlier this month, a ship loaded with Queensland sugar sailed up the River Thames to the Tate & Lyle Sugars refinery in London. It was the first...

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Advocating for regional Australians

12 September 2023

As I write this week’s column, I am on a flight to Canberra, where I’ll travel to Parliament House with CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan for a...

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Mill sales show confidence in our industry

31 August 2023

The news that Bundaberg Sugar is up for sale came as a surprise to many within and outside the industry when it was revealed this month. Not only is...

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What El Nino?

17 August 2023

We’re almost three months into the 2023 sugarcane crush and the big dry that our weather gurus predicted has yet to materialise.  In fact,...

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Government failing on biosecurity

1 August 2023

Ask anyone to sum up the Australian way of life and the word barbeque will almost certainly come up, and for good reason, the backyard barbie with...

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Sweet milestone reached as sugar heads to the UK

14 July 2023

Years of hard work by Australian trade negotiators and the sugarcane industry have come to fruition this month, with the first commercial shipment of...

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More than an industry, a community

29 June 2023

Recently, I was in Mackay for the funeral of local CANEGROWERS CEO Kerry Latter, who died following a short battle with cancer. A friend and...

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Power price shock a gut-punch for growers

20 June 2023

Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get any more expensive, the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) has decided we’re not...

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Time to rethink ethanol

8 June 2023

Australia is in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, which shows no sign of letting up any time soon.  The price of everything from housing to...

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Crushing it – cane harvest underway

23 May 2023

The 2023 sugarcane crush is officially underway, with cane harvesters firing up across far north Queensland this week.  The Tableland and Tully...

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Growing importance of women in sugar

3 May 2023

Like most ag sectors, Queensland’s sugarcane industry has long been viewed as a male dominated space. And historically, at least at leadership...

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Could 2023 be the bumper year we’ve been waiting for?

18 April 2023

The 2023 sugarcane crush is just weeks away and once again growers are heading into harvest with a sense of trepidation and optimism. While...

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Sugarcane – the solution to air travel’s emissions problem

9 April 2023

Most people are aware of the Australian Government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 43 percent below 2005 levels by...

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Exciting time to consider cane

26 March 2023

Employment in the regions is always a hot topic, with many people unemployed or forced to move away to find work. But there are opportunities...

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Sugarcane growers ahead of the game on climate policy

13 March 2023

Reducing emissions is a challenge facing every sector of the Australian economy, and unfortunately agricultural industries are no exception. With the...

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Funding commitment recognises hard work and exciting future

21 February 2023

For the best part of a decade, Queensland’s cane growers have been working hard to improve farming practices, not only making their businesses...

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Growers deserve answers on terminals move

6 February 2023

There has been a lot of talk in the media about Queensland’s bulk sugar terminals and who will operate them.  Sugar Terminals Limited...

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Good research must be grower focussed

25 January 2023

Queensland’s 2022 cane crush is finally over. Unfortunately, we are at least a month behind where we should be regarding the crop cycle, which...

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10 January 2023

New Year’s Resolutions It’s that time of the year again when, after indulging over the Christmas period, we promise to do things...

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Consider the sugar industry in 2023

15 December 2022

Christmas is just around the corner, and we are all looking forward to enjoying quality time with friends and family. December-January is usually a...

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Shared challenges

29 November 2022

Often when we face challenging times, we tend to feel like we’re the only ones doing it tough. This can be true not just of individuals, but at...

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Engaging the workers of tomorrow

28 October 2022

One of the greatest challenges to this year’s cane harvest continues to be workforce shortages, both in the paddock and at the sugar...

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Constantly innovating to meet community expectations

19 October 2022

Australians have long supported, and in many cases have been willing to pay a premium for, Australian made agricultural products. Whether...

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We all have a part to play

9 September 2022

Queensland’s sugarcane harvest is finally approaching the midway mark. The crop is large and healthy, and the world sugar price is...

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The truth from positive reef report

26 August 2022

There are many great things about being a farmer, but among the best is living and working on the land day in, day out and feeling connected to...

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Immersing city folk in the cane growing life

12 August 2022

Advocating on behalf of Queensland’s sugarcane farming families and the communities they support is at the very heart of what CANEGROWERS does...

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Finding help for fatigue

1 August 2022

Recently, during Farm Safety Week, farmers were being urged to consider the impact of fatigue on the risk of injury at work. Farming can be physically...

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Bigger, bolder, better industry for the future

15 July 2022

Did you hear recently about a new vision for the future of sugarcane in Queensland? It’s big and bold and has the backing of the whole...

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Why pre-harvest cane fires still light up the sky

4 July 2022

In the past, smoke on the horizon during sugarcane season was a familiar sight. It’s become rarer in many regions in recent decades, but fire...

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Here’s to a successful, safe harvest

17 June 2022

This is an exciting, busy and nerve-wracking time for sugarcane growers and the coastal sugar regions from Mossman to the Gold Coast. Within...

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Taking up the baton

3 June 2022

The CANEGROWERS Policy Council has met amid a genuine feeling of optimism for the 2022 season. It was an upbeat gathering of 20 growers representing...

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Four decades fighting for growers

6 May 2022

This column, my last as Chairman of CANEGROWERS Queensland, brings down the curtain on 39 years of fighting for the cane farming families of...

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Setting the record straight on Smartcane BMP

28 April 2022

As a cane grower accredited in the industry’s voluntary Smartcane BMP program for productivity, profitability and sustainability I am dismayed...

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Standing up for farmers’ right to farm

6 April 2022

Most cane farmers, in fact most farmers in Queensland, have experienced some form of friction with members of the wider community about their...

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Farmers wary of land values leading to rates hit

4 March 2022

We are fast approaching the time of year when new land valuations are circulated by the Queensland Valuer General and in some farming regions,...

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Fertiliser costs bite into farm budgets

25 February 2022

One of the great ironies of farming is that when the price you earn for what you grow rises, often the cost of your basic business necessities heads...

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Planting for careers in the future

2 September 2021

The harvest months in the sugar industry are as much about planning for the future crop as they are about cutting mature sugarcane. Similarly, the...

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Water woes in a two-tier discount regime

13 August 2021

The second step of the Queensland Government’s election promise to reduce water costs for farmers has been taken. What CANEGROWERS said during...

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Farm safety facts are a solemn reminder

5 August 2021

The Safer Farms Report 2021 has been sobering reading. My state and my age group have featured strongly, and not in a good way. FarmSafe Australia...

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Project wraps up but YCS mysteries remain

21 July 2021

Industry scientists and growers have worked on the mystery of Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS) since it first appeared in 2012 but despite all the effort,...

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Power to grow our industry

2 July 2021

2 July 2021 The start of July is an important time for sugarcane growers who use electricity to irrigate and CANEGROWERS is able to help with the...

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Confusing, costly reef regs must be wound back

17 June 2021

17 June 2021 CANEGROWERS opposed the first reef regulations in 2009 and we take every opportunity to re-state that opposition and outline a different...

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National and global activity

21 May 2021

21 May 2021 As we draw towards the start of the 2021 crush, the many details close to home that get the massive effort of the sugarcane harvest...

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Sharing sugarcane's powerful environmental story

7 May 2021

CANEGROWERS Chairman, Paul Schembri CANEGROWERS has always believed in our environmental credentials. Our modern farming systems, our technologies,...

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Ministerial meetings hear grower issues

26 February 2021

A very important role of CANEGROWERS is amplifying the voice of individual Queensland sugarcane growers. Backed by the weight of numbers of members in...

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Industry backs Babinda grower for STL Board

7 September 2020

Growers have a strong voice in an important role following the election of Babinda sugarcane grower and CANEGROWERS Cairns Region Chairman Stephen...

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Misguided reef policies risk economic hit

3 August 2020

A detailed analysis has revealed the Queensland Government risks an economic hit to the state of $1.3 billion over ten years with a misguided push to...

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LETTER to the Editor - Time to get real about backing farmers

2 April 2020

Coronavirus has delivered a stark reminder to governments and consumers alike about the importance of our food supply chains. These supply chains...

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Global Sugar Alliance London 2019 Communique

29 November 2019

WTO moves against sugar subsidies welcome Communiqué 28 November 2019 Sugar subsidies continue to depress the world sugar price and are...

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No tick of approval from growers

23 October 2019

A claim from the Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister Leeanne Enoch in a recent media release (issued 18 October) on reef regulations for...

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Sugarcane's economic contribution to Queensland

13 September 2019

The Queensland sugarcane industry is a powerhouse supporting regional communities and the state economy. A report, commissioned by CANEGROWERS, has...

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LETTER to the Editor - Response to the Environment Minister

23 August 2019

CANEGROWERS has sent the letter below to Queensland and Australian newspapers responding to some recent comments and claims by the Queensland...

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Reef science in spotlight

16 August 2019

A speaking tour by prominent north Queensland academic Dr Peter Ridd has raised questions around some of the scientific studies of the Great Barrier...

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New Notice for safe and legal cane fires

12 June 2019

An updated Notice has been drawn up by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and CANEGROWERS to ensure cane fires are safe and legal where they...

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LETTER to the Editor - Invitation to the Premier

24 May 2019

The Federal Election result last weekend seems to have flicked a switch for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. She’s moved quickly to travel to my...

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LETTER to the Editor - Please use your vote wisely

16 May 2019

I urge all sugarcane growers in Queensland and the people who depend on our industry to take a big picture view of the future into account when voting...

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Confidentiality of grower data

7 May 2019

AgForce’s recent decision to delete its members’ Best Management Practice records in anticipation of the Queensland Parliament passing the...

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Australia, Brazil and Guatemala join forces in WTO action against India

18 March 2019

Australia, Brazil and Guatemala join forces in WTO action against India 18 March 2019 Global Sugar Alliance member Guatemala has joined Australia...

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LETTER to the Editor - Congratulations cane growers!

15 March 2019

Congratulations cane growers! I write to congratulate Queensland’s Smartcane BMP accredited sugarcane growers. You are being acknowledged...

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LETTER to the Editor - Big brother warning for farm sector

1 March 2019

Big brother warning to farm sector In the Queensland Government’s proposed new laws to regulate farm practice in Great Barrier Reef catchments...

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Cyclone risk cover - closer than you think

22 October 2018

Like drought, cyclones are part of the farming landscape in Queensland. Despite this, insuring crops against cyclones has long been viewed as fantasy....

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Graduation for scholarship growers

17 October 2018

The first three recipients of a CANEGROWERS scholarship for rural leadership courses have finished a busy and rewarding week in Canberra. Simon...

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Proud of our BMP commitment

11 October 2018

At CANEGROWERS we are proud of our focus on Smartcane BMP and the solid commitment of growers to the program as the path...

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LETTER to the Editor - ACCC vindicates electricity stance

17 July 2018

ACCC report vindicates CANEGROWERS electricity campaign It’s not generally polite to say ‘I told you so’ but in this case…...

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Cane to Coast tells growers' story

29 June 2018

CANEGROWERS believes that Queensland’s cane farmers are doing remarkable things when it comes to protecting and caring for their environment and...

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LETTER to the Editor - Reef report

29 June 2018

Reef report undervalues grower commitment Queensland’s cane growers should hold their heads high and reject the criticism in a recent...

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Hands-on cane farming classroom

30 May 2018

Six class groups of school children were educated, entertained and got their hands dirty as CANEGROWERS again joined in the RNA’s Rural...

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Cane regions off the drought list

21 May 2018

The Queensland Government has revoked drought declarations covering all or part of 11 local government areas including sugarcane growing regions,...

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Global Sugar Alliance raises alarm over subsidised sugar exports

9 May 2018

Global Sugar Alliance raises alarm as subsidised sugar exports start to flood world market 9 May 2018 Meeting in New York today the Global Sugar...

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Poster prize at ASSCT

24 April 2018

CANEGROWERS has won a prize for a poster and presentation at the 2018 Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists conference in Mackay in...

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Sugar: we're making more and eating less

26 March 2018

As an economist, CANEGROWERS Head-Economics Warren Males likes numbers. So during the debate about a sugar tax, he's been collecting some numbers...

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LETTER to the Editor - Power prices

2 March 2018

Farmers demand power price answer On behalf of Queensland’s farmers using irrigation, I am demanding an answer. Why, in its draft...

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LETTER to the Editor - Reef science

12 February 2018

Reef science questions concern farmers Sugarcane growers up and down the Queensland coast are concerned about the questions around the integrity of...

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How to keep a sugar market edge

28 January 2018

Australia’s sugar industry needs to remain focused on continuing production and sustainability gains as smaller sugar-producing nations look to...

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Election: What do the parties say?

23 November 2017

In this 2017 Queensland State Election campaign, CANEGROWERS has urged the political parties to commit to actions which will secure the livelihoods of...

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Strong voice with a bright future

14 November 2017

Chairman Paul Schembri has told the CANEGROWERS Annual General Meeting that the past year has emphasised the importance of a strong, united and...

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Alliance demands energy action

8 November 2017

As the Queensland election battle intensifies, three of the peak bodies representing business have combined to make sure that the issue is acted on by...

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It's safe! Code survives Senate challenge

19 October 2017

A vote of 37-18 has emphatically ended the bid by a New South Wales Senator to disallow the Sugar Industry Code of Conduct. The result is a big relief...

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Wet Tropics growers embrace Cane Changer

10 October 2017

Project Cane Changer is a CANEGROWERS initiative that works with growers to recognise, value and accelerate their efforts to adopt farming practices...

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Cane fires burning in 2017

22 August 2017

There's more smoke on the horizon in the 2017 Australian sugarcane season than for many previous years as growers who have been cutting green for...

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New funds to tackle fire ants

4 August 2017

CANEGROWERS joined a coalition of conservation, community and farming organisations urging a July meeting of the Agriculture Minister's Forum to...

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Minister signs cane industry commitment

20 July 2017

A Queensland State Government minister put his signature on a commitment to the sugarcane industry at the July 2017 meeting of the CANEGROWERS Policy...

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Introducing EEF60: cane farm fertiliser trials

20 June 2017

CANEGROWERS has been awarded a contract to run a series of 60 on farm trials of enhanced efficiency fertilisers and is now looking for growers to host...

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Innisfail board proves its water quality credentials

20 June 2017

All five members of the CANEGROWERS Innisfail Board have achieved Smartcane BMP accreditation, the first CANEGROWERS district to achieve...

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Aerial bid to control rats in sugarcane

19 June 2017

Rats are one of the cane industry's most persistent pests, costing growers millions in lost revenue each year. CANEGROWERS has gained approval for...

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