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WELCOME TO THE NOVEMBER 2019 ISSUE OF 'CANE NEWS'


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CLICK HERE for printer friendly version of November's newsletter
DATE CLAIMERS

November
Thursday 21st         Six Mile Creek Irrigators Cooperative Ltd AGM: Canegrowers Proserpine Boardroom, 10am
 Thursday 21st        Kelsey Creek Water Cooperative Ltd AGM: Canegrowers Proserpine Boardroom, 3pm
Friday 22nd             SSP & Canegrowers Proserpine 2018/19 AGM: Hotel Metropole
27th, 28th & 29th     Reef Catchments Soil Symposium

December
Tuesday 17th           QSL grower Christmas party
Tuesday 24th           Canegrowers Proserpine office closed for Christmas from 12pm
25th - 29th                QSL Proserpine office closed for Christmas
CANEGROWERS PROSERPINE & SUGAR SERVICES PROSERPINE 2018/19 AGM
                                               
                                                                                         
PROSERPINE YOUNG FARMERS GROUP - NOVEMBER UPDATE

A group of young people involved in the agriculture industry near Proserpine have come together to form Proserpine Young Farmers (PYF). The group aims to provide a channel for under 40s involved and interested in agriculture to come together to share, learn and connect. The group has been successful in obtaining funding through the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Enhanced Extension Coordination in the GBR Project.

Through this funding, the group is planning a variety of farm tours to learn about a range of different practices. We want to see how others tackle issues, come up with solutions and improve their businesses, both profitability and sustainability. This includes several tours to local farms, one tour to the Burdekin in December 2019 with a focus on automated irrigation, and one tour to the Mackay region in Autumn 2020 focusing on fallow management. We also have a range of other activities in the pipeline including pricing and marketing workshops with Wilmar, and business and succession planning workshops.

Recently the group visited PYF member, Justin Blair’s, farm. This farm is BMP accredited, growing cane on 1.8m beds with dual rows. We looked at his sprayer which he has been trialling switching nozzles on/off to allow him to band spray and blanket spray. We also viewed his bed former, wavy discs, and fertiliser box which he has installed cameras on to allow him to view the inside of the box from the tractor, and Stool Zippas to help close the slot and prevent fertiliser loss.

Justin also has a range of other things happening on the farm, including having an Enviroscan capacitance probe and tensiometer installed by local productivity services, Sugar Services Proserpine, to help learn more about irrigation requirements and soil moisture.

SRA, as part of the Pathways to Water Quality Improvement in the Myrtle Creek Sub-catchment project, has just installed water quality samplers in one of Justin’s paddocks. Justin has applied Bobcat i-MAXX herbicide as a band spray on part of the paddock and as a blanket spray on the other part to see the difference in water quality run-off during the coming wet season.

The Blair’s are also diversifying and have a native Australian fingerlime business, Myrtlevale Fingerlimes. We were lucky enough to taste test the fingerlimes as we learnt about the process they have gone through, including trialling several varieties.

The group is looking forward to being involved in more activities to help improve our knowledge and our industry.

CANEGROWERS MARKETING INFORMATION SERVICE
The November video & PDFs are online now!

This is your exclusive members only insight into the sugar market to help you exercise your grower choice rights, armed with independent information. Head to the website and use your CANEGOWERS membership number to log in.

While you're there, make sure you subscribe to get an email notification each time a new update is available.
CLICK HERE: www.canegrowers.com.au/marketing-information-service
SRA: PATHWAYS TO WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT IN THE MYRTLE CREEK SUB-CATCHMENT
The Myrtle Creek project demonstration sites are well underway for the 2019-2020 season. 4 new sites will be monitored for paddock-scale run-off water quality. The sites are located on four different farms in the Myrtle Creek sub-catchment, near Proserpine. The project is funded by the Department of Environment and Science, and each site compares a different set of management practices related to nutrient or herbicide management. The project aims to allow growers to look at water quality at the farm scale, with the opportunity to compare different practices they are interested in.

This season the management practices at the four sites are:
  1. Valor herbicide (flumioxazin) applied approximately 1 week after harvest vs no herbicide application. There will possibly be another herbicide application applied to both treatments at a later date.
  2. ENTEC fertiliser applied using a stool splitter with Stool Zippa attached vs standard granular fertiliser applied using a different stool splitter with no Stool Zippa attached.
  3. Bobcat i-MAXX herbicide (hexazinone and imazapic) applied as a banded spray and fertiliser applied with Stool Zippas attached vs Bobcat i-MAXX applied as a blanket spray and fertiliser applied without Stool Zippas.
  4. Confidor (liquid formulation of imidacloprid) vs suSCon maxi intel (granular, controlled release formulation of imidacloprid).
The treatments at sites 1, 2 and 3 have been applied. The water samplers and equipment were installed last week (24th October) and are now waiting for the first run-off event. The treatments at site 4 are being applied at the hill up stage, then allowing the equipment to be installed, which will be in the coming weeks.
Site 3, comparing blanket and band spraying, is located on the farm of Proserpine Young Farmers (PYF) member, Justin Blair. Recently, PYF had a tour of Justin’s farm and SRA Adoption Officer, Molly, had the opportunity to show PYF the site and equipment. This allowed PYF members to see how the results are collected, and the processes involved, ultimately giving a better understanding of the project.
We are looking forward to engaging in more discussions around the results of these demonstration sites and impacts of different management practices, from both an environmental and economic viewpoint.
QSL NOVEMBER UPDATE

QSL CHRISTMAS PARTY MARKS ANOTHER BUSY YEAR

 

Thank you to all those growers who again chose QSL as their marketer for the 2020 Season, as well as those new clients who've recently come on board. We really appreciate your business and Iook forward to working with you as we head into the new season.
 
As the end of 2019 looms, all QSL growers and their families are invited to celebrate the end of the crush and the coming festive season at our annual Proserpine Christmas Party next month. Details are:

 

Date: Tuesday 17 December 2019
Time: 4pm - 6pm
Venue: Upstairs at the Proserpine RSL
 
Drinks and nibbles will be provided, so please RSVP on 0429 804 876.
 

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DECEMBER OPERATING HOURS
 

 Please note that QSL's Proserpine office will be closed on the following dates during December and January:

 
11-13 December - Closed for staff training
25-29 December - Closed for Christmas
1 January - Closed for New Year Public Holiday
13-17 January - Closed for staff leave
 
The QSL Direct Helpline will be available from 8.30am to 5pm during all working days in December & January - just call 1800 870 756 for assistance.

REEF CATCHMENTS SOIL SYMPOSIUM - 29TH NOVEMBER
                                                           
The annual Reef Catchments Soil Symposium will feature Dr Christine Jones, internationally renowned and highly respected ground cover and soils ecologist. The full program will be released soon.

Guest Speaker Dr Christine Jones will present on:
- A fresh look at Microbes - the symbiotic relationships that take place in the soil microbiome
- The extraordinary power of diversity - learn how to replicate a productive and resilient farm ecosystem
- Biostimulants for regenerative agriculture - replacing detrimental synthetic N and P with biostimulants

Soil ecologist Dr Christine Jones offers an accessible, inspiring perspective on the pressing worldwide challenge of restoring topsoil. Over several decades, Christine has worked with innovative farmers and graziers to implement regenerative land management practices that enhance biodiversity, increase productivity, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, water quality and community and catchment health. Following a highly respected career in public sector R&D, Christine founded 'Amazing Carbon' in 2004 and organised a series of ‘Managing the Carbon Cycle’ forums throughout Australia to promote the benefits of soil carbon. In recent years she has gained international recognition as a speaker, presenting at workshops, field days, seminars and conferences throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Western Europe, Central America, USA and Canada.

Field Day Thursday 28 November - 171 Newmans Road, Marian
A field day to complement the annual Soil Symposium on a working cane farm in Marian. Highlights will include rainfall simulation, soil pit demonstrations, plenty of insights and in field discussions with Dr Christine Jones on regenerative cropping.

Field Day Friday 29 November - 8 McCormack Road, Glen Isla, Proserpine
A second field day complementary to the annual Soil Symposium. Our host and local industries are on a mission to increase the understanding and acceptance of Regenerative Farming practices. Dr Christine Jones together with Farm HQ will discuss on-farm multi-species cover crop strategies, manufacturing compost, soil inoculations and bio-fertiliser applications.
 
                                                                                               

This event is an initiative of Reef Catchments through funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Program and additional support from the Queensland Government Water Quality Program.
Phone (07) 4968 4200 or CLICK HERE to RSVP
GEORGE CHRISTENSEN MP ONLINE PETITION - DON'T CANE OUR FARMERS

** CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION  **

 

                        

PROGRAMS, GRANTS & SCHOLARSHIPS ON OFFER
Listed below are programs, grants and scholarships which may interest growers and their families. Please note that their closing dates are quickly approaching.

National Landcare Program: Smart Farms Small Grants
A third round of this program is open for applications for amounts $5,000 - $50,000 until 19 December 2019. The purpose of these grants is to support land manager practice change that will deliver more sustainable, productive and profitable food, fibre and forestry business while protecting Australia’s biodiversity; protecting and improving the condition of natural resources; and assisting Australia meet its international obligations. Projects should aim to achieve one of these outcomes:
  • Increased adoption of best practice sustainable agriculture
  • Increase the capacity of land managers to adopt best practice sustainable agriculture
For more information visit the relevant Federal Government’s Community Grants page.
 
 
AgriFutures Horizon Scholarships
These provide a $10,000 bursary over two years and professional development opportunities for university students studying for an agriculture-related degree and entering their final two years of study. Applications close 22 November 2019. For more information visit the Horizon Scholarships web page.
 
 
Next Crop
This is a Sugar Research Australia professional and personal development program for growers, designed to create a network of confident and committed future leaders for the industry. It is seeking nominations from growers who are keen to build their leadership skills by participating in its second course between February and May 2020. There is no age limit and a group of 10-15 will be selected. There is a $750 fee but beyond that all travel and accommodation costs are covered by SRA. Nominations close on 29 November 2019.

For more information visit the Next Crop Leaders web page.                     
FAMILY TRUSTS   with Bogie & Co. Solicitors, Proserpine & Cannonvale
I have written articles in the past on partnerships and companies. Whilst such entities have their own complexities, they are relatively easy to understand. What I find, however, is when discussing commercial matters with clients, particularly at the stage of preparing wills, it is clear that clients can be confused.  In many cases,  more complex structures have been suggested by accountants for tax purposes or by lawyers for asset protection purposes. I thought it would therefore be beneficial to outline a few of the more widely used structures (they are widely used in many industries including farming). The first is the family trust. 
 
Family Trusts 
The term “family trust” refers to a “discretionary trust” (assets are held in trust and distributed at the discretion of a trustee but in terms of a trust deed) set up to hold a family’s assets or to conduct a family business.  Generally, these are established for asset protection or tax purposes.   
 
What is a family trust?

An Australian family trust:
  • is generally established by a family member for the benefit of members of the “family group”;
  • can be the subject of a family trust election which provides it with certain tax advantages, provided the trust passes the “family control test” and makes distributions of trust income only to beneficiaries of the trust who are within the “family group”;
  • can assist in protecting the family group’s assets from the liabilities of one or more of the family members (for instance, in the event of a family member’s bankruptcy or insolvency);
  • provides a mechanism to pass family assets to future generations; and
  • can provide a means of accessing favourable taxation treatment by ensuring all family members use their income tax “tax-free thresholds”. 
 
Trust Deed 
The terms and conditions under which a family trust is established and maintained are set out in its deed. The trust is established by the trust’s settlor and trustee (or trustees) signing the trust deed and the settlor giving the trust property (the “settled sum”) to the trustee.  The trustee can be either an individual or individuals.  A trustee can also be a company. 
 
The Settlor
The settlor’s function is to give the assets to the trustee to hold for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries on the terms and conditions set out in the trust deed.  The settlor executes the trust deed and then, generally, has no further involvement in the trust. 
 
The Trustee
The trustee is responsible for the trust and its assets.  The trustee has broad powers to conduct the trust and manage its assets. In a family trust, the trustees are usually Mum and Dad (or a company of which Mum and Dad are the shareholders and directors).  The children and any other dependents are usually listed as beneficiaries. 
 
Family Trust Income 
One of the key benefits of a family trust is that the trustee can distribute income earned by the trust (from the trust property) in any way the trustee sees fit, provided distributions are made to people who qualify as beneficiaries. In trust deeds, frequently primary and secondary beneficiaries are named.  The trustee has the power to select which beneficiaries from the group are to receive the income. As can be appreciated, substantial power rests with the trustee and therefore the appropriate choice of trustee is very important. 
 
Family Trust Capita
The trust deed will also make provision for ultimate distribution of the capital of the trust. 
 
Appointor  
In certain trust deeds, an “appointor” is named.  This allows a party who would normally be appointed trustee, but who wishes to delegate that control, to remove a trustee and appoint an alternative trustee if required.  
 
Advice 
It is wise to obtain legal and financial advice from a solicitor or accountant prior to making a final decision on operating through a family trust.

Disclaimer 
The information contained in this article is not advice and should not be treated as such. It is based on Queensland Law and where applicable Commonwealth Legislation. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to legal and financial advice from a properly qualified professional. If you have any specific questions about any legal and/or financial matters, you should consult an appropriately qualified professional.
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