Reef Alliance Nutrient Management Plan project

The Reef Alliance Nutrient Management Plan project saw extension officers work with sugarcane farmers to customised whole-of-farm nutrient management plans (NMPs) in the Wet Tropics. The three-year program was delivered by the Wet Tropics Sugar Industry Partnership (WTSIP), an alliance of 17 organisations as part of the Australian Government’s Reef Trust III program.

The project delivered targeted grants, a series of soil health workshops and one-on-one extension support. This resulted in 297 sugarcane farmers managing 74,092 hectares with confirmed practice change and 325 nutrient management plans produced in the year of 2017 to 2020.

The project also reported social outcomes. Sugarcane farmer Paul Marbelli applied for financial backing while trialling less than recommended nitrogen rates across his farm over a crop cycle. His nutrient management plan matched very closely to his new lowered application rates, which gave him a lot more confidence that he was on the right track.

“Like most land managers I’m trying to find the sweet spot between minimising impacts on the environment and maintaining a sustainable productive farming business,” Paul said.

For more information on the project, please visit the WTSIP website.