Support of cane farmer trials of enhanced efficiency fertiliser in the catchments of the Great Barrier Reef : Final report 2016/807
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There is growing pressure from community and government for farmers located within the Great Barrier Reef catchments to reduce nutrient losses. Enhanced Efficiency Fertilisers (EEFs) provide an opportunity to improve nitrogen (N) fertiliser uptake by sugarcane crops by better matching N supply with crop demand. Complementary benefits from improving fertiliser N uptake efficiency are the resultant improvements in nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and reduced risk of nitrate losses.The EEF60 project is the most extensive evaluation of EEFs ever to be undertaken in the Australian sugarcane industry and reflects a collaborative partnership between sugarcane growers, CANEGROWERS, Sugar Research Australia, regional productivity services and agricultural economists from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. It was designed to test EEFs on 60 sugarcane farms, located between Bundaberg and Mossman, over three harvests. The trials evaluated the performance of EEFs relative to conventional fertilisers by measuring cane and sugar yield, Commercial Cane Sugar (CCS), grower profitability, NUE, crop N content, fertiliser uptake efficiency, post-harvest soil N and water quality (N leaching and runoff).