Sugarcane industry research supporting regional communities

Cutting edge investment in sugarcane industry research and development by the Queensland Government is helping the State’s sugarcane growers and millers increase productivity, profitability and sustainability.

Queensland Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson said her department is investing in sugarcane research via the industry-owned corporation for research and development, Sugar Research Australia (SRA).

Speaking after a tour of SRA’s Brisbane laboratories, Minister Donaldson said the government was investing $2.85 million per year in a range of innovative research projects.

“Research is vital for driving the productivity of Queensland sugar producers as well keeping our industry free from biosecurity threats,” the Minister said.

“Our investment in research is a collaboration that is putting Queensland at the forefront of scientific research and agricultural production.”

The Minister highlighted that in the current financial year the Government funding will support 19 sugarcane research, development and extension projects including the search for a cure for Yellow Canopy Syndrome.

“The Department of Agriculture and SRA are working closely together to address the industry’s key issues.

“In addition to the funding to SRA, the department undertakes important research and extension work in cane farming systems to improve production.”

SRA Chairman Dr Ron Swindells said that the State Government partnership with SRA was targeted at projects that had practical outcomes on-farm and at the mill, and significant potential benefit for the industry and the regional communities that it supports.

“DAF investment in SRA is supporting priority research areas such as the plant breeding program and better and faster methods of creating sugarcane varieties and adding value to the SRA breeding program,” Dr Swindells said.

“The industry places a high priority on research into varieties with a range of traits including tonnes, sugar, and disease resistance, and the breeding program is the single biggest area of focus for Sugar Research Australia.

“DAF is also investing in key areas such as Yellow Canopy Syndrome, chlorotic streak disease, and other crucial issues such as biosecurity, nitrogen use efficiency, and herbicide management.

“On behalf of all of SRA’s investors, I thank the Queensland Government for their support of sugarcane industry science and innovation through Sugar Research Australia.”

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