Factors affecting cane farm productivity and profitability in the Bundaberg district
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At the request of the Bundaberg Cane Productivity Committee, the Queensland Department of Primary Industries carried out a study to identify factors affecting the level of sugar yields and reasons for variation in the level of farm input use and to examine other on-farm influences affecting the profitability of cane growing in the Bundaberg district. A purposive sample of 53 cane growers was selected and information obtained through personal interview. The study examined a wide range of farm characteristics which were expected to affect sugar yields in the district. The study found that 70% of the variation in sugar yields over the survey period could be explained by: - the percentage of harvested cane consisting of Autumn plant cane; - type of irrigation use (flood or non-flood); - number of days to irrigate the crop (length of irrigation cycle); - amount of nitrogen applied to ratoon crops; - soil type; and - water use. Sugar yield and farm size were identified as important factors affecting the profitability of cane growing on specialist cane farms.