Bundaberg Canegrowers Reap Benefits From New Water Program

Bundaberg Canegrowers Reap Benefits From New Water Program

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps

Water Program’s Sweet Yield For Bundaberg Canegrowers

Victor P Taffa

Funding from the Newman Government has helped Bundaberg sugarcane growers reap a sweet reward from a water efficiency project that began in May 2012.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said canegrowers had recorded yield increases of more than 15 % on long-term averages by participating in the Bundaberg Irrigation Planning and Management Project (BIPMP).

“Achieving this gain in such a short period of time is a fantastic result and I congratulate Bundaberg CANEGROWERS for their initiative and drive to develop the BIPMP.” Mr. Cripps said.

“This innovative project is helping canegrowers build the necessary knowledge and skills to improve on-farm water management.”

“The State Government has supported the BIPMP by providing $30,000 in funding through the Water Use Efficiency (RWUE) program a partnership between government and industry to assist Queensland’s irrigators.”

Mr. Cripps said the RWUE funding was used to buy six weather stations for the BIPMP.

“The weather stations are a vital element of the project which aims to maximise crop water use efficiency and economic returns.” Mr. Cripps said.

“The weather stations have been linked to 12 soil monitoring sites forming a network of remote access scheduling tools to support farm management.”

“Canegrowers in Bundaberg are using these tools to better understand the relationship between daily weather influences and crop response to plan for the best use of water.”

Mr. Cripps said the tools were located in six district management zones based on similarities in location, soil type and topographic characteristics

“Canegrowers can access a continuous stream of data about rainfall, air and soil temperature, wind speed and direction and soil moisture.” Mr. Cripps said.

“This important information assists canegrowers to manage tasks such as overhead irrigation and chemical application to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability, while reinforcing the industry’s environmental responsibilities.”

“Initiatives such as the Irrigation Planning and Management Project support the Government’s commitment to growing a four pillar economy.” Mr. Cripps said.