Tully District Cane Growers Celebrate Success
This article was originally published in the Cassowary Coast Independent on April 19, 2018
More than 100 canegrowers and their families gathered to celebrate the achievements of the 2017 season at the annual Tully Productivity Awards last week (Friday 13 April).
Among the award recipients was Euramo grower Ray Zamora who received the prestigious Mangrove Jack Award for his dedication to sustainable farming. The award recognises growers who have adopted best management practice farming systems, enabling them to farm sustainably while maintaining productivity and profitability.
The district’s commitment to environmental sustainability was also celebrated with 54 cane growers now accredited under the Smartcane BMP program, the industry standard for best practice farming, representing nearly half of Tully’s total sugarcane farming area.
The evening also marked 12 months since the commencement of Project Cane Changer, a CANEGROWERS initiative seeking to recognise sugarcane farmers for their positive farming practices and contribution to protecting the Great Barrier Reef.
Speaking on the night, Cane Changer project leader, Dr John Pickering, highlighted the importance of recognising and celebrating the positive changes and sustainable environmental practices of Queensland’s sugarcane farmers.
“The uptake of Smartcane BMP has drawn extremely positive responses from the community and the government,” Dr Pickering said. “Just last week the Queensland Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch tweeted about the fantastic work that growers are doing to reduce run-off and increase yield and productivity.
“Growers have been embracing change and protecting the environment for decades, and it is through programs like Smartcane BMP and Project Cane Changer that they can demonstrate this commitment and set the record straight about their industry.”
To celebrate the district’s milestone achievements Tully CANEGROWERS and Project Cane Changer will unveil a Tully District Smartcane BMP Honour Board in the coming weeks.
“These results are made possible through a lot of hard work by growers, CANEGROWERS Tully and the local BMP facilitator Nick Stipis,” Dr Pickering said. “We should all celebrate the incredible commitment in this district to create a better future for the industry, the community and the environment.”
To get involved and find out more about Project Cane Changer or Smartcane BMP contact your local CANEGROWERS Office.