Cane farmers urged to make the change

A simple idea which could save cane farmers money and significantly reduce possibly damaging run off should be adopted by as many farmers as possible urges North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald.

The idea, which has been successfully trialled in the Burdekin, is a simple one but one which could make a big difference, Senator Macdonald said.

The process, devised by the CSIRO, involves using a specially adapted spray for weed control which has shown a dramatic 90 per cent reduction in run-off herbicides flowing into waterways and subsequently into the ocean, potentially affecting both coral reefs and seagrass meadows.

Its not a complicated or expensive thing to do and the fact that it saves farmers money while benefiting the environment and the Great Barrier Reef makes it a win/win situation for everyone, he said.

I urge cane farmers across the north to have a look at the excellent results of the trial and give serious consideration to adapting their weed spraying regimen to significantly reduce run-off.

Senator Macdonald pointed out that over the last 20 years farmers had already improved the run off rates which was a positive indicator of their willingness to change their practices for the benefit of the environment.

I am sure that once farmers study the results of this trial and see how simple the modifications are, they will be happy to adopt the new technology for the benefit of us all.

I know that the sugar industry has led the way on environmental measures in recent times and this invention is yet another opportunity to demonstrate that farmers do car for the health of our natural environment.

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