Growers Look to Smart Ways
This article was originally published in the Port Douglas and Mossman Gazette on 30 November 2017.
Mossman agronomist Rebecca Stone represented the district at the gathering of Smartcane BMP facilitators in Brisbane recently. The two-day forum was designed to share ideas and experiences for improving the delivery and value of Smartcane BMP across the state. The forum featured speakers from the industry and the chance to hear from other facilitators from around the state.
Smartcane BMP is the sugar industry's tailor-made best practice farming system. The program allows growers to demonstrate their use of practices that drive productivity while looking after the environment.
Each cane growing district has its own dedicated Smatrcane BMP facilitator who works with growers from the beginning to the end of the process to ensure that they have everything that they need to be accredited in the program.
Ms Stone has been the Smartcane BMP facilitator since 2014 and has helped nearly 20 per cent of the sugarcane farming area in Mossman move through Smartcane BMP program to achieve accreditation.
"These workshops give us the chance to hear from one another and find out what is working well in other districts," Ms Stone said.
A focus of the event was around how best to deliver the accreditation process for sugarcane growers and what resources they could use to better support growers in achieving accreditation.
"Record-keeping is a challenge for a number of growers," Rebecca said, "I picked up a number of tips and tricks other facilitators are using that will be extremely useful for Mossman growers.
"One of the other facilitators has created a tool that gives growers a comprehensive overview of how close they are to achieving accreditation giving indications at every step of the process which helps them keep on track and motivated."