RP 20 Burdekin Nitrogen Trials


Morning growers


Please refer to the below exert from a letter issued by Department of Environment and Heritage Protection recently, sent to registered growers participating in the RP20 Burdekin Nitrogen Trials about their use of up to 240 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare.


“ You may be aware that over the past five years, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has funded the RP20 Burdekin Nitrogen Trials project through Sugar Research Australia and the local cane industry. A number of farmers have worked closely with researchers to test fertiliser application rates on their farms to ensure that the nitrogen rate prescribed through the regulation would maintain yield and farm profitability.


In order to provide assurance to growers, a process was initiated to allow registered cane farmers to use up to 240 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare until the RP20 Burdekin Nitrogen Trials had enough data to provide scientifically robust results to determine the optimum amount of nitrogen required to maintain yields. Our records show that you are one of the cane farmers registered to apply up to 240 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare during this time.


The results from the trials have shown that grower economic returns are maximised over the crop cycle when good farming practices, and balanced crop nutrition based on SIX EASY STEPS, are employed. Complete trial results are available from Sugar Research Australia (www.sugarresearch.com.au), where a grower video will also soon be available. Information sessions will be held in your region in early June 2017 where you can learn more about the project results and find out what help is available to you. Project members and farmers that were involved in the trials will also be there to offer their first-hand experience and share their results.


Given the project has confirmed the benefits of fertiliser rates consistent with the SIX EASY STEPS, the maximum application rate of 240 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare will no longer apply from 1 July 2017.


The regulations regarding the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus used to fertilise cane crops in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin and Mackay-Whitsunday catchments are based on the industry developed SIX EASY STEPS program. Removal of the 240 kilogram per hectare nitrogen application rate means that from 1 July 2017, growers will need to apply the nitrogen rate in accordance with the regulations, calculated using the regulated method, which considers your district yield potential (150 tonnes/ha or 180 tonnes/ha), fallow management, soil organic carbon, and crop class. The regulated method details how to apply these requirements, and is available on the www.qld.gov.au/FarmingInReefCatchments website.


If you need help calculating the regulated rate, a number of organisations are available to provide support including productivity services, private agronomy advisers, Sugar Research Australia and cane grower representative bodies. In addition, the private agronomy firm Farmacist is currently running a Queensland Government funded project, RP161 Complete Nutrient Management Planning for Cane Farming. You may like to contact them to see if you can be involved in the project.”


Please see below for SRA invitation to RP20 Burdekin Nitrogen Trials: Grower Updates to be held throughout the district on 6th & 7th June.



Les Elphinstone

Manager / Company Secretary

Kalamia Cane Growers Organisation Ltd

Kalagro Ltd

140 Young Street Ayr Qld 4807

PO Box 597 Ayr Qld 4807

Tel:  07 4783 1312  Fax: 07 4783 3885

Mob: 0447 128 312

Email: [email protected]

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