Good research must be grower focussed

Good research must be grower focussed

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 creates difficulties for growers, especially given the wet season is now upon us. 

Now is the time for growers to put in the final touches for next year’s crop. Ground needs to be prepared, bed forms or fallow crops planted. 

The current cane crop is growing well, but unfortunately so are the weeds, therefore this is also the time for spraying chemicals. 

Growers will make decisions about the amount of chemical used, the timing of application, and the placement of the spray based on the weather and the conditions of the crop being sprayed. 

For many of us, these decisions are second nature due to practical experience and trials done in previous years. 

However, the initial work carried out to ensure the efficacy and safety of all new and existing chemicals is also a hugely important factor. This all comes back to one thing - research. 

We are lucky in the sugar industry to have a world class research body in Sugar Research Australia. 

Not only do they carry out a huge amount of research into all facets of growing and milling, they also develop and own the varieties of cane we grow in the paddocks. 

This is unusual in the agricultural sector as most industries are beholden to large overseas companies for their seed stock.

With this in mind, it is vitally important for growers to be at the forefront in providing SRA with input into their research. 

Growers are the ones who eventually have to make a living out of this research, so it is important they get input into the process. 

CANEGROWERS has always worked closely with SRA and we will continue to do so to ensure the continued vitality of the industry and the regional communities we support along 2000 kms of Queensland coastline.