Southern Sugar Solutions : final report 2017/012
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The Southern Sugar Solutions project was a novel project that linked research; development and extension activities that were being conducted by DAF with funding support from GRDC to monitor impact on the subsequent cane crop.The project activities were governed by a local steering committee made up of growers, agronomists, and advisors. The committee met on an annual basis to discuss results, identify and prioritise issues that were local productivity constraints. The project team developed activities to address the committee’s prioritised issues. Annual field days exposed the growers and advisors to the trials that were implemented to address identified issues.Trials implemented highlighted opportunities to improve the productivity and profitability of sugar production in the Southern Canelands. The application of mill-mud/ash improved the cumulative sugarcane crop gross margin by $239/ha and improved cumulative sugar yield by almost 9%. The fallow management trial identified peanuts, soybean and pigeon pea were the most profitable grain legume rotations offering cumulative gross margins (legume break + plant cane + R1) of $4,228; $2,344 and $2,734 more than a monoculture respectively.A total of 278 people participated in the three field days conducted by the project. Independent project impact report highlighted that 65% of growers interviewed had planned to implement an on-farm practice change as a direct involvement with the project.