Smartcane BMP Accelerates in Tully

Nick     Stipis (L) with recently accredited growers (L-R: Anthony Johnson, Tim Murphy, Paul Johnson, Stephen Johnson).

Nick Stipis (L) with recently accredited growers (L-R: Anthony Johnson, Tim Murphy, Paul Johnson, Stephen Johnson).

 

This article was originally published in the Cassowary Coast Independent on 1 March 2018

 

Looking towards the future, Tully growers continue to embrace Smartcane BMP program – the tailor-made best practice farming system for sugarcane growing in Australia.

Smartcane BMP was developed by industry and is designed to be flexible enough to adapt to each and every farming operation.

In the past 12 months more than 35 growers have become accredited in the Smartcane BMP program in Tully and a further 33 have signed up and are moving towards their accreditation. Now, with more than 50% of the Tully sugarcane area either accredited or moving towards it, the district has one of Queensland’s highest rates of involvement in the program.

For some growers, Smartcane BMP accreditation provides an opportunity to validate all of the changes they have made on their farms in recent decades; for others it provides an opportunity to consider subtle variations to their farming practices that can help further enhance both productivity and environmental outcomes.

Each cane growing district has its own dedicated Smartcane 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.

Nick Stipis, a former sugarcane grower himself, has been the local Smartcane BMP facilitator for Tully since 2016. He has been extremely excited to see the progress in the district and believes that Tully growers have a lot to be proud of.

“Growers have been updating and improving their practices for many, many years, both to ensure they get the most out of their farming operation and to protect the environment,” he said. “BMP is a way of helping growers demonstrate this to the wider public.

“Our role as facilitators is to support them throughout the accreditation process and if there are any changes to be made, help growers implement them on their farm.”

Throughout Tully, Nick has introduced a number of new tips and tricks to make the accreditation process as easy as possible.

“There is a record-keeping component to the accreditation process,” Nick said. “Farming can be a hard process and growers work long days but by using legends to code fertiliser and herbicide usage, they can save a lot of time.”

If you would like to find out more about Smartcane BMP and how you can become involved contact your local CANEGROWERS office on 4068 4900.