Thursday, February 23, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Make Your Fertiliser Count

Developing and delivering optimal nutrient management plans, can be complex and challenging for both farmers and agricultural service providers.

In 2019 LiquaForce developed LAND HUB in consultation with agronomists, and growers across Queensland’s sugarcane and horticultural industries to close the knowledge gap required for sustainable farm management.

The Local Area Nutrient Datahub (LAND) is designed to improve the information capacity of growers, enhancing decision making processes around nutrient application and other farming practices, leading to productivity improvements on-farm, and water quality outcomes off-farm.

It also provides secure, private, digital storage of all their farm, soil, and production data year on year. This simplifies long-term monitoring of crop and financial performance over time, providing a far greater understanding of underlying agronomic issues and solutions suitable for their farms.

According to the independent consultant managing the project, Sara Bennett – “The quality and accessibility of the connected data in LAND delivers farmers the ‘information capacity’ for widespread practice change, which will result in substantial water quality outcomes for the Great Barrier Reef.”

In the Mackay Whitsunday region, Colin and Lenore Bourke own two sugarcane farms: one in Karloo just east of the Bruce Highway and the other in undulating country at Carmila West.

Karloo soils are typically sand or loam overlaying a sodic clay subsoil and cropping is all rain fed.

At Carmila West, soils are a mix of loam and a sand or loam overlaying sodic clay. This country can be subject to surface runoff with seasonal rainfall making crop nutrient loss a concern.

To improve their farming practice with nutrient management, Colin and Lenore shifted from surface application of liquid Dunder (Mill by-product) blends to sub-surface stool-split application.

“Fertiliser that leaves my paddock is money lost, it does not grow my crop, and it is not good for the environment or for water quality” says Colin.

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