Celebrating the achievements of Cairns region growers

This article was originally published in the CANEGROWERS Cairns Region Newsletter.


Growers from across the Cairns Region came together recently to celebrate their achievements in an event at Fishery Falls hosted by CANEGROWERS project, Cane Changer.

Dr John Pickering thanking growers for their involvement in the project.

Dr John Pickering thanking growers for their involvement in the project.

On the night Cane Changer project leader Dr John Pickering provided the growers with an update and thanked them for their on-going commitment to working proactively and telling their story.

Cairns Region was one of the first cane growing districts to embrace the project when it was launched back in 2016. Since then, more than 70 growers across the district have jumped on board to help set the record straight.

CANEGROWERS Cairns Region Director, Barry Stubbs, being presented with his Cane Changer Declaration.

CANEGROWERS Cairns Region Director, Barry Stubbs, being presented with his Cane Changer Declaration.

"We'd like to sincerely thank all of the growers for helping to set the record straight over the past two years and for all of the work which has been done in the decades before this project began."

On the night growers were presented with a 'Cane Changer Declaration' highlighting the practices they have changed over the years to improve productivity and protect the environment.

"A lot can certainly change over the years, and that's no different for Cairns growers," Dr Pickering said. "In fact, these declarations show that across Cairns growers involved in the project have changed well over 500 practices in the past decade."

“The majority of growers involved in the project are using fallow-crops, sub-surface fertiliser application and have made large-scale changes to their farm layout and drainage systems,” he said. “We’re also seeing newer practices like the use of GPS and laser levelling continue to increase in popularity.”

“There is a lot of great work happening in the Cairns Region at the moment,” said Sarah Standen, CANEGROWERS Cairns Region Manger. “Cairns growers have a long history of change and innovation.”

“Programs like Cane Changer are just one of the many ways our district is working towards better outcomes for growers and the industry while demonstrating our environmental credentials.”  

Joel Tierney, Cairns Region Smartcane BMP facilitator, was also present on the night to highlight the accomplishments of three growers who were recently awarded accreditation in the Smartcane BMP program.

Cairns region grower Tilly Spertino with Cairns region Smartcane BMP Facilitator, Joel Tierney

Cairns region grower Tilly Spertino with Cairns region Smartcane BMP Facilitator, Joel Tierney

“We want to recognise efforts of Leo, Steven and Tilly who have been working hard to make their way through the BMP program over the last year,” he said “We’ve seen a lot of interest in the program recently with the majority of growers in the Cairns Region engaged in the program.”

Growers also heard from Gavin Rodman and Will Highman from Sugar Research Australia who gave an update on the Cane to Creek program on the night.  

To find out more or to receive your own Cane Changer Declaration please contact the CANEGROWERS Office or call Toneya from the Cane Changer team on 0447 388 165

Behaviour Innovation