Canegrowers

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: What is the Smartcane BMP program?

A: An industry led, government supported world-class best practice system for cane growing across Queensland.


Q: How do I register with the Smartcane BMP program?

A: You can get started yourself by creating your own logon (click on the home menu). There is a handy video tutorial showing how to register. If you would like some additional help, ring the local facilitator in your area who can help set up your account. To find your local facilitator click here.


Q: Who is eligible to register for the Smartcane BMP program?

A: Every Australian cane grower is eligible to become part of the sugar industry’s BMP program. Regardless of the size, location, or membership of any group; this system has been designed for every cane growing business. 


Q: Is the Smartcane BMP program voluntary for growers?

A: Yes, grower participation in the Smartcane BMP program is entirely voluntary. The Smartcane BMP Program is designed to support business productivity and profitability. There are many reasons growers are signing up to the program. 


Q: How many modules are included in the Smartcane BMP program?

A: Seven BMP modules are included in the Smartcane BMP program aimed at addressing whole of farm operations. These include:

1. Drainage and irrigation management (core).

2. Pest, disease and weed management (core).

3. Soil health and plant nutrition management (core).

4. Crop production and harvest management.

5. Natural systems management.

6. Workplace health and safety management.

7. Farm business management.


Q: How many Smartcane BMP modules are required for Smartane BMP accreditation?

A: The three core modules must be completed for a grower to achieve accreditation.
1. Drainage and irrigation management (core).
2. Pest, disease and weed management (core).
3. Soil health and plant nutrition management (core).

 

Q: Can a grower use a different industry practice to the practice stated in a Smartcane BMP module?

A: Yes, many growers have verified that a different practice is achieving the same outcome intended by the practice stated in a Smartcane BMP module. Growers can access the knowledge of their local facilitator and extension staff if they need some help with this.


Q: What support is available for grower participation in the Smartcane BMP program?

A: A network of local BMP facilitators across Queensland’s cane growing districts are available to support grower participation in the Smartcane BMP program. To find your local facilitator, click here.


Q: Can I complete Smartcane BMP modules on my own if I choose?

A: Yes, growers can register and complete one or more modules without any support or assistance if they choose to do so, however for accreditation to be awarded, growers will require verification by a Smartcane BMP facilitator for each module successfully completed. 


Q: If I don’t meet the required standard for BMP what happens? And what can I do to improve my standard to meet BMP requirements?

A: Strangely enough, those growers who have found a practice which doesn’t meet BMP have been happy that they’ve found an area for improvement on their farm. The BMP Facilitators work directly with growers to develop an action plan to assist them to meet the required standard. This action plan is tailored to the farm’s individual circumstances. It may include a structured workshop with other growers, a one on one consultation or referral to an industry expert, a modification to a work procedure or a change to your work systems. Each action plan will be individually designed to suit each individual farmer and their business situation and support will be provided to assist in the implementation of the actions. 


Q: Is the Smartcane BMP program available electronically and in a paper based format?

A: The Smartcane BMP program is available online to support updates, new information and to make access to supporting resources such as Nutrient Management Plan templates as simple as possible. If you prefer to work on paper, there is an easy option for you or your facilitator to print out paper copies of each of the Smartcane BMP modules. 


Q: How will the data recorded by growers in the Smartcane BMP program be managed?

A: Data collected will support individual growers to improve profitability, productivity and stewardship. Data will be managed by CANEGROWERS. Data reporting will be at an aggregated scale and not identifiable to an individual grower. Any reporting will support industry programs and opportunities such as R&D and training needs. Reporting on industry practices and practice change at an aggregated scale can assist with Reef Water Quality Protection Plan outcomes and Paddock to Reef reporting. To support data collection and reporting outlined above growers will be required to review and tick a terms and conditions check box upon registering on the Smartcane BMP website. 


Q: Will growers be audited on their Smartcane BMP module accreditation?

A: Growers who successfully complete one of more modules who want to be accredited will need verification of their achievement by a BMP facilitator for formal accreditation to be awarded. Growers will also be asked to review and update actions and agreed activities on an annual basis to maintain accreditation but more importantly support their productivity, profitability and business goals. Ongoing industry assessments will be supported by a BMP facilitator within a five year period. Independent third party industry audits will also be used as part of the programs monitoring, evaluation and performance review. This ensures transparency, rigour and program improvement. To support this objective, a random sample of growers will be audited anytime within a five year period. 


Q: What are our targets?

A: All good programs have targets and because of the level of adoption of best practice across the industry, the Smartcane BMP has set its sights on achieving the following targets:

By the end of 2016:

- 1520 growers benchmark their farm (in the three core modules)*

- 380 growers accredited in the three core modules

Note: These figures may be revised following a review of industry participation at quarterly intervals.

*560 growers (with accredited Environmental Risk Management Plans) to complete Smartcane BMP self-assessment; 1520 growers complete self-assessment in three or more modules (75% from Mackay/Whitsunday, Burdekin, Wet Tropics).
 

Q: Can participation in the Smartcane BMP program help growers further their formal qualifications?

A: Yes, participation in the Smartcane BMP program can assist growers to achieve formal qualification which recognises learning that has occurred through life and work based experiences in whatever form that may have been achieved. The Recognised Prior Learning process is a way of achieving formal recognition for growers’ current skills and knowledge.

Other learnings that have been achieved through more formal learning processes eg. short courses and class work will also be recognised through this process. In fact, all current skills and knowledge growers possess are included in the assessment for a qualification such as a Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma in their area of experience.

 

Q: Has government been involved in this program?

A:The 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.

The result is an industry developed system which really works for growers.


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