There are a number of cane-related projects occurring in the Wet Tropics that are benefitting farmer profitability as well as the environment.
WTSIP currently has oversight of the delivery of Reef Trust Phases III and IV (Repeated Tenders).
Reef Trust Phase III
The Australian Government is providing $56million over four years (2015-2019) for investments to improve management practices for sugar cane farmers, reduce erosion in grazing lands and improve water quality in grains, dairy and horticulture industries.
The Reef Alliance Program, a partnership between the agricultural industry, regional NRM bodies (including Terrain NRM) and facilitated by the Queensland Farmer’s Federation (QFF), will be responsible for delivering $46million of this investment.
WTSIP is responsible for delivering Reef Trust Phase III's cane targets in the Wet Tropics.
Reef Trust Phase IV
Phase IV is a repeated tender programme with support for the broader trialling and uptake of Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers.
Some of the other water quality projects that are relevant to cane growers in the Wet Tropics but are not being delivered by WTSIP include:
Major Integrated Project (MIP)
The Wet Tropics Major Integrated Project (MIP) is being funded by the Queensland Government and led by a consortium of over 30 partners including WTSIP. It is focused on reducing nutrient and pesticide losses from cane and banana farms in the Tully and Johnstone River Catchments.
There are many cane farmers throughout the Wet Tropics involved in trialling, testing and validating new farming practices to reduce the use of nutrients and pesticides.
- National Landcare Innovation Programme - this is open to all farmers but includes a number of cane farmers
- Project Catalyst - this project involving over 70 farmers has been trialling a variety of innovative practices since 2009
- Reef Trust Phase III also has an innovation component including extension and grants