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Entries in the 2018 Show Cane Exhibit at Show Whitsunday were slightly up after last year’s cyclone. Champion 6 Stalks of Cane was awarded to the Q183 submitted by Watts Farming. There was also some stiff competition in the Highest Quantity of Commercial Cane Sugar from 6 Stalks of Cane – the winner for Plant Cane was Faust Farming (3.27kg) and for Ratoon Cane, JR & ML Casey (3.01kg). Special thanks also goes to our generous sponsors who continue to support the local sugar industry through these awards. The following is a full list of the winners:
A competition between growers within the branch consisting of six stalks of plant cane.  (Approved varieties within the Mill area).
A.   Town Branch:                                Bob Staniland Trading (Q183)
B.   Up River Branch:                           AP & LJ Pini (Q183)
C.   Kelsey Creek Branch:                   RM & JE Rule (Q240)
D.   Lethebrook Branch:                      Watts Farming (Q183)
E.   Gregory/Strathdickie Branch:        PJ & GW Simpson (Q183)
F.   Cannonvalley/Preston Branch:     Craig McDonald (Q240)
G.   Bloomsbury/Elaroo Branch:         Jeppesen Farming (Q208)
A competition between growers within the branch consisting of six stalks of ratoon cane.  (Approved varieties within the Mill area).
A.   Town Branch:                              Cantamessa Farming (Q240)
B.   Up River Branch:                         AP & LJ Pini (Q183)
C.   Kelsey Creek Branch:                 Valmadre Farming (Q240)
D.   Lethebrook Branch:                     Watts Farming (Q183)
E.   Gregory/Strathdickie Branch:      PJ & GW Simpson (Q240)
F.   Cannonvalley/Preston Branch:    Craig McDonald (Q190)
G.   Bloomsbury/Elaroo Branch:        Jeppesen Farming (Q240)
3.    CHAMPION SIX STALKS OF THE SHOW - Plant or Ratoon (Chosen from Sections 1 and 2 above).
       Watts Farming (Q183)
4.    CHAMPION STOOL OF PLANT CANE (from Single Billet) Any Approved Variety
       Faust Farming (Q183)
5.    CHAMPION STOOL OF RATOON CANE (from Single Billet) Any Approved Variety.
       Jeppesen Farming (Q242)  
6.    HEAVIEST STALK.  Any Approved Variety Plant or Ratoon.
       Watts Farming (Q183 – 4.30kg)
Best Display of General Milling Cane (plant or ratoons) by each Branch of CANEGROWERS Proserpine containing at least 6 (six) stalks of any 6 (six) approved varieties. 
1st – Lethebrook
2nd – Town Branch
3rd – Kelsey Creek
8.   HIGHEST C.C.S. Test in Two Stalks – Any approved variety plant or ratoon, per grower. 
Two (2) Stalks showing not less than 1.5 metres of cane with tops left on bundled and delivered to Sugar Services Office (rear of Canegrowers).  These two (2) stalks will then analysed by Wilmar Proserpine Mill. 
A.  Q183          Valmadre Farming (CCS 18.50)
B.  Q208          AR & JP Cowan (CCS 17.60)
C.  kQ228        Salisbury Plains (CCS 18.70)
D.  Q232          IE & BJ Cowan (CCS 18.05)
E.  Q240          Andrew Mau (CCS 18.30)
J.  Any other Approved Varieties as follows: Q200, Q238, Q242, Q249, Q252, SP80-1816
                        JR & ML Casey (Q200 – CCS 18.30)
9.  HIGHEST Quantity of Commercial Cane Sugar in Six Stalks of Plant Cane of any approved variety.
     Winner: Faust Farming (Q183 – 19.45kg CCS 16.80 = 3.27kg sugar)
10.  HIGHEST Quantity of Commercial Cane Sugar in Six Stalks of Ratoon Cane of any approved  
       JR & ML Casey (Q252 – 17.50kg CCS 17.20 = 3.01kg sugar)
11.   CANEGROWERS Proserpine Insurance Trophy
        1st PRIZE - Perpetual Trophy and Prize for the exhibitor with the most points.
        Winner: Watts Farming
        Runner Up: Jeppesen Farming
Click HERE to see more great photos

Cane Maturity testing  is underway with demand for the service increasing by the day. Please call and arrange a time for SSPL staff to sample your cane.

Pachymetra testing incentive  is still available and growers should contact SSPL for details. Pachymetra costs the industry millions each year in lost potential as the roots of affected plants rot off. Varieties with resistance to the Pachymetra are used to manage the disease. The latest varieties released in the Central region are SRA 9, SRA 12 and SRA 13 which have excellent Pachymetra resistance results.

Anyone seeking Tissue Culture for Autumn plant 2019 is asked to contact SSPL to discuss variety selection and quantities.

Have a safe harvest!

Peter Sutherland
Manager – Senior Extension Agronomist

The next, and final, government funded phase of Smartcane BMP commences next month, with proposed funding for 4 years. The first 3 years are expected to be followed by a final year of reduced funding as a transition toward the industry funding of its best practice programme.
Smartcane BMP will continue to offer on-farm audits for modules 1-3 (Soil Health and Nutrition, Irrigation and Drainage, and Weeds, Pests and Disease) and will introduce them for modules 4 and 8 (Crop Production and Harvesting, and People and Environment). 
Modules 5-7 (People and Business, Natural Systems, and Workplace Health and Safety) will be offered as self-assessment only so that growers can identify areas for improvement within their own enterprise and seek additional information accordingly.  These modules will not be audited nor accredited. 
Module 8 has been a recent addition to Smartcane.  It is a guide to the scope of the Bonsucro audit to help growers determine what will be required when they wish to pursue Bonsucro. While there is alignment between the two, there is no current cross accreditation between Smartcane BMP and Bonsucro. Bonsucro will require a significantly higher amount of record keeping for farming inputs.
For the time being, growers are encouraged to complete modules 1-3 as a minimum and if possible, module 4.  Growers who have already registered and self-assessed in these modules need to continue to keep records and are encouraged to continue to re-self-assess on a regular basis.
For more information or to obtain self-assessment documents please contact Christine Peterson on
4945 0516 or alternatively, via email (click link below).
El Nino WATCH; chance of El Nino in spring increases to 50%

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral. However, latest model outlooks and recent warming in the tropical Pacific Ocean indicates that the chance of El Niño forming in spring has increased. As a result, the Bureau's ENSO Outlook status has moved to El Niño WATCH. El Niño WATCH means the likelihood of El Niño forming in 2018 is approximately 50%; double the normal chance.


Oceanic indicators are currently neutral—neither El Niño nor La Niña—but show some signs of potential El Niño development. Sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, though currently neutral, have been slowly warming since April. Importantly, waters below the surface of the tropical Pacific are now warmer than average—a common precursor to El Niño.


The majority of international climate models surveyed by the Bureau forecast the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to warm but stay in the neutral range during July and August. However, five of eight models indicate the ocean warmth is likely to reach El Niño thresholds in the southern hemisphere spring, while a sixth model falls just short.


During El Niño, rainfall in eastern Australian is typically below average during winter and spring. A neutral ENSO phase has little effect on Australian climate.


The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains neutral. Five of six climate models indicate the IOD is likely to remain neutral in the coming months, and one model suggests a positive IOD.
** conditions apply **

A good turn-out of growers attended this year's Pre-Season Meeting where SSP’s Peter Sutherland provided an overview of the 2017 season and a preview of the 2018 crop.

Wilmar’s Danny Van der Berg also gave an insight into some of the challenges confronted at Proserpine Mill after last year’s cyclone.

Special Guest, SRA Plant Breeder, Dr George Piperidis updated growers on two new varieties, SRA12 and SRA13 which were recently approved for Central Region. Proserpine growers welcomed both varieties for their resistance to Pachymetra root rot and leaf scold.

Below: Peter Sutherland (SSPL), Dr George Piperidis (SRA) & Peter Quod (Canegrowers Proserpine)


After 32 years as Laboratory Supervisor at Proserpine Mill, Sheryl Foot has announced her retirement.
Sheryl was instrumental in the development of our Cane Analysis Program and her experience and expertise will be sorely missed.

While CANEGROWERS Audit Team visits the laboratory on a weekly basis during the crush, Sheryl maintained regular contact with the grower’s representative in-between those visits and provided valuable feedback on the integrity of the program and to discuss any emerging issues.

Members of CANEGROWERS Audit Team attend Sheryl’s send-off last Friday night to congratulate her on a distinguished career and extended our sincere thanks and appreciation for her contribution to the Proserpine sugar industry.

We wish Sheryl all the best in retirement and the next chapter in life.
Working in close proximity to power lines, above or below the ground, has its hazards. Unfortunately each year, workers in the sugar cane industry come in contact with Ergon Energy assets. This includes contact with poles, wires and pillar boxes by vehicles and the loads they are carrying. Contact can also occur during harvesting and haulout operations, when moving machinery and plant from one location to another, or when irrigating.

Canegrowers Mackay offers an online Safe Working Near Electrical Assets in the Rural Industry induction that will enable you to be fully informed on all aspects of electricity. Please contact the Canegrowers Mackay office on 4944 2600 for further information.

Please note: this course is generic and not tailored to any specific area. Course cost is $30 for Canegrowers members and $78 for non-members.
Growers needing a Seasonal Permit to burn standing cane, tops and trash should contact their local Fire Warden for assistance. While the areas remain unchanged, there have been a few changes to the designated Fire Warden in some areas. 

Due to privacy legalisation we are no longer able to provide a list of names or contact details of our local Fire Wardens. However, growers can find their respective fire warden by accessing the Fire Warden Finder on the RFS web page (see link below).
Things to remember:
  • Fire Wardens can only issue permits for their particular area
  • Fire Wardens are volunteers and may not be able to issue a permit on the spot
  • Applicants need to give their neighbour sufficient notification of their intention to apply, usually 72 hrs, but this is up to the warden’s discretion.
  • Wardens may wish to inspect blocks/breaks etc, especially if a new applicant, so planning ahead is wise
 Below are the relevant links to access the Fire Warden Finder or make a Permit Application:
Copies of the Cane Firing Guidelines for the Sugarcane Industry are available from CANEGROWERS Proserpine.
With funding from the Australian and Queensland Governments, a Post Disaster Mental Health Recovery Team has been established for this region to provide support to individuals, children and families impacted by STC Debbie.

The impact of traumatic events is often difficult to identify as the symptoms do not always appear to be connected to the trauma. Many times symptoms do not immediately appear after the trauma and are often misunderstood as unrelated. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:
  • Somatic complaints such as headaches
  • Musculoskeletal pains and fatigue
  • Increased alcohol and other drug use
  • Difficulty in interpersonal relationships
  • Financial concerns
  • Increased symptoms of depression
  • Increased symptoms of anxiety
  • Avoiding memories of the event
  • Change in socialising
If you have any concerns for yourself or someone you know, please contact the Post Disaster Mental Health Recovery Team for help.

Contact Information:   phone: 4968 3893   or email:
QSL UPDATE  (May/June)
Click HERE to read QSL's June update

The Proserpine office ‘looking for work’ board is running low & we have members still searching for employees to help with the 2018 season. If you or someone you know is looking for work, please drop into the office any day between 8.30am to 5pm and we’ll add your details to the job board.

MF6290 tractor. 4335 hours, 135HP
20x8x38 rear tyres & 16x9x28 front tyres.
GPS ready (Trimble) just needs GPS screen
Very good condition
Phone David Scodellero: 0418 986 693
Closing date for classified advertisements is the
close of business of the first week of each
month. Classifieds are free to Canegrowers
Canegrowers Proserpine does not necessarily endorse
products or services advertised in, or associated with the
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