After rigorous verification by a team of independent scientists, the government
has put its mark of endorsement on the Smartcane BMP program. It agreed that the
system developed and owned by growers is robust and practical.
The system works because it has been developed from the ground up. When it comes
to farming, it is the sugarcane farmers and researchers who know best. That’s why
the whole Australian sugarcane industry got together and put together the Smartcane
BMP. It is the industry researchers and sugarcane farmers themselves who put together
the standards for farming sugarcane, based on productivity and profitability.
What Smartcane BMP looks like
The industry has developed a series of seven modules covering the key aspects of sugarcane growing:
1. Soil health and plant nutrition management (core)
2. Pest, disease and weed management (core)
3. Drainage and Irrigation management (core)
4. Crop production and harvest management.
5. Natural systems management.
6. Farm business management.
7. Workplace health and safety management.
A team of local facilitators throughout Queensland helps growers go through
the modules – step by step.
As a grower answers each question, the system tells them if they are ‘below’,
‘at’, or ‘above’ the industry standard for each practice. If any practice is below
the industry standard, the grower is shown what they would need to do to reach that
mark. If they need some extra help along the way, their local facilitator is there
to help.The practices contained within each module are categorised depending on ability
to improve productivity, profitability and stewardship.
Taking back control and marketing our sugar to the world
Smartcane BMP will help Australia maintain its competitive edge in the increasingly
competitive world market. Proof that Australia is a sustainable producers
of quality sugar is becoming increasingly important to our customers. Smartcane BMP is the robust system which will be the platform of
proof that can be used to show Australians and the world that our industry meets their expectations.
A system that the community can rely on
The public wants to believe that their iconic sugarcane industry is doing the right
thing – but to do this they would like to see evidence. Smartcane BMP gives sugarcane growers an opportunity to showcase that they manage
their farm to best practice standards.
Success hinges on high grower adoption
A robust system and a high level of adoption of that system by sugarcane growers
is the key to ensuring the sustainability of the
industry into the future.It is expected that sugarcane growers will sign-up to the practical,
industry-led and developed system.
Building on existing work
There are already a lot of products which have been developed over the past 30 years.
The Sugarcane BMP project consolidates and builds on this and emerging work. It
will also build on the successful Reef Rescue program, and be integrated into any
future Reef Rescue-type initiatives.
Will growers be audited?
Signing on to any or all of the below
steps is completely voluntary. Many sugarcane growers operate to a best practice industry standard and will already
comply with main parts of the BMP system.
- Growers can undertake a self-assessment of how they comply with the modules.
- Growers can elect to undertake training to improve their knowledge in certain areas
to assist achieving module accreditation.
- Growers can request an independent assessor - a qualified professional - to provide
an assessment on their performance against the BMP.
What happens to the data?
Data will be owned by the sugarcane industry and will be collated to help support
industry productivity, extension and R,D&E. Collated data will not identify individual
farms, unless specifically requested, and will underpin industry strategy and direction,
and provide indicators on progress towards meeting government policies and programs.
Aggregated at the appropriate scale, data will:
- Inform the progress and success of the BMP program
- Support industry R,D&E needs, product development and training.
- Support district and regional extension needs, product development and training
- Provide baseline information to support continuous improvement in meeting industry
Smartcane BMP is a proactive, continuous improvement program led by the Australian sugarcane industry. The Queensland Government has provided funding towards the industry-developed, industry-owned program.