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WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER 2019 ISSUE OF 'CANE NEWS'


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CLICK HERE for printer friendly version of December's newsletter
DATE CLAIMERS
December
Tuesday 24th           Canegrowers Proserpine office closed for Christmas from 12pm
Tuesday 24th           SSP office closed for Christmas from 12pm
25th - 29th Dec        QSL Proserpine office closed for Christmas (see below for other closure dates)
January
Monday 6th              SSP office re-opens at 7am
Monday 13th            Canegrowers Proserpine office re-opens at 8.30am
 

The Sugar Services Proserpine team wish to advise their members that the office will close at 12pm, Tuesday 24th December and will re-open on Monday 6th January at 7am.

Molly O'Dea will be available throughout the closure (with the exception of all public holidays) by visiting the SSP office or by calling her mobile - 0439 619 082.

 
NEW WATER METERING CHANGES
Water Entitlement holders would have recently received a letter from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines & Energy seeking feedback on proposals for strengthening non-urban water measurement (consultation paper).The consultation paper contains recommendations on the introduction of water meters to record, store and transmit information in real-time as a standard requirement. The proposals would require all new and replacement meters to be ‘pattern approved’ to meet departmental standards which align with AS4747. With limited exception these new meters would need to include:

A data logger – a device to record and store meter information; and
A telemetry device – to transmit the information to the department
 
Water entitlement holders would be responsible for all costs relating to installing, maintaining and operating these meters and measurement equipment to the proposed new standard. CANEGROWERS Proserpine has lodged a submission to the department on behalf of all irrigators outlining our concerns with the proposals. Our concerns can be summarised as follows:
  • Data loggers have proven to be unsuccessful in the past with insects, flooding and iron bacteria causing ongoing management and maintenance issue for local irrigators. 
  • Most irrigators only installed meters in 2014 and there is concern that data loggers cannot be retrofitted to existing meters.
  • A significant portion of Proserpine and Whitsunday is currently not covered by the telecommunications network (Blackspots).
  • The cost of the new meters is exorbitant and will not provide any economic benefit in terms of productivity, nor will it improve water efficiency.
  • Data collected could be used to publicly malign irrigators, particularly with agricultural activities adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef being heavily scrutinised by government and non-government organisations
The department proposes to introduce the new metering requirements on a priority basis, such as in high risk areas and the Murray-Darling Basin. At this stage, implementation in the Whitsunday Catchments is not scheduled until 30 November 2026.

CANEGROWERS Proserpine will keep irrigators informed on any further development of this proposal.
 
                                                                                         
HAVE YOUR SAY ON CLEAN SEED

Due to the importance of clean seed in any successful farming enterprise, SSP has a focus on providing access to material to our members.  Clean seed is proven to increase productivity over old cane by removing any number of sugarcane diseases, including but not limited to Ratoon Stunting Disease (RSD) and Chlorotic Streak Disease (CSD).

 

                                                          RSD has been detected on a number of farms in the district;

                                                             up to 15% of blocks tested have shown a positive result.


While a number of growers obtain clean seed every year, there is room for improvement and the recent RSD surveys indicate that larger quantities of clean seed, along with improved farm hygiene, are necessary to maintain or improve yields.  Multiple milling districts report that growers with higher productivity generally use clean seed on a yearly basis.

 

SSP is re-evaluating clean seed distribution with the aim to provide the most cost effective and convenient options and to increase the hectares of clean seed cane in the district. SSP is also planning to have some trial plots to evaluate new varieties.

 

SSP is seeking input from you with regards to preferred methods of obtaining clean seed. There are a number of options with varying levels of convenience, cost and germination success in the practical application across different conditions around the district. A combination may be required for the best fit. SSP is actively working to ensure that there will be a Hot Water Treatment option next year.

Clean Seed Options:

  1. Tissue Culture seedlings
  2. One-eyed-setts.
  3. Hand-cut whole stick from plots.
  4. Billets from plots
  5. Hot Water Treat cane you provide

 

                                                             Please contact SSP with your thoughts on these options.

CHANGES TO REEF REGULATIONS
New reef protection regulations in the Great Barrier Reef regions have commenced from 1st December 2019.
 
The SSP team has asked that all members please take a moment to read through the fact sheet below (click link to view), especially page 2, which outlines new record keeping requirements relating to fertilisers and chemicals.
 
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the SSP team.
CLICK HERE to view new reef regulations fact sheet
SMARTCANE - GET STARTED, EVEN WITHOUT FORMAL REGISTRATION
Everyone is busy; busy irrigating, fertilising, planting, spraying weeds, being with family and/or enjoying some well-earned R&R.  Making a start on some things as you go will assist in the long term for BMP or business management, as well as compliance obligations. Even if you do not wish to register or continue with BMP in a formal sense just now, SSP can still help. We can answer questions and provide assistance.
 
If you want a head start without going through the BMP questions, just try some or all of these:
  1. Fertiliser records – dates, rates, products and block numbers. Highlighter pen and details written on farm map is fine.
  2. Chemical records – date, start and finish time, rates, products, weather details (wind speed and direction [at start and finish], relative humidity, temperature, Delta T), block no. and area treated, what your target is, who applied the chemical.
  3. Note when and how much irrigation you apply to some different crop stages e.g. 25mm with a winch; 80mm with furrow irrigation when the crop is older. This only needs to be for a few blocks, not every irrigation.  If you would like a hand with working out irrigation amounts call Christine Peterson or Laurent Verpeaux.
Record keeping should not take long.
No one has the time to write pages, and no one expects you to.
One of our growers said it takes him about 3 minutes/ day!
 


For more information call Christine Peterson on 49450516. 
CLICK HERE to view the Smartcane fertiliser & chemical farm record template
NUTRITION MANAGEMENT
SSP is fully accredited to provide fertiliser recommendations and develop nutrient management plans.
 
This is a reminder for our members that SSP can assist you with soil test interpretation, nutrient management and record keeping. Frank Millar and Laurent (Laurie) Verpeaux have been both approved as Accredited Agricultural Advisers (Reef Catchments – Central Region) this year. Members can approach us at any time for this service; in our case the rebate is not applicable.
 
Under the Reef Regulations, sugarcane producers are required to keep general records and minimum standard records as of 1 December 2019, as well as farm nitrogen and phosphorus budget records as of 1 December 2021.
 
You are still required to order a soil test within 12 months of planting sugar cane for each block or dominant soil type area, ideally at the beginning of the fallow (or after the harvest) prior to applying any ameliorants (mil mud, lime, gypsum, or other). Soil testing methodology must follow legal requirements, including keeping GPS coordinates of core sample sites.
 
Developing a nutrient management plan with one of our staff is an easy and valuable process, during which productivity issues can be openly discussed and customised advice provided. We also give valuable follow up and ongoing extension services. Our plans comply with record keeping requirements for both advisers and producers, they help keep your information in one place, and can be easily updated each year. Crop performance can be compared with previous nutrient and ameliorants applications, helping build trends over time to fine tune your operation.
 
Each nutrient management plan comes with compliant farm maps, soil type maps, and color-coded product and application rates maps which can be easily followed by yourself or your employees. Nitrogen and phosphorus farm budgets are already included in our plans.
 
This year, developing plans for many of our members has brought to light many chemical and physical constraints to crop yield potential. It pays to understand the key issues limiting your productivity on a block by block basis, and work your way to addressing them.

We are here to help, and rest ensured that your information is safe with us. We simply need soil test results and a meeting with you to get started – we will take care of the work and help based on your own circumstances. You can get in touch with our friendly team at any time to start the process.
 
LOCAL FIRE BAN EXEMPTION FOR CANE PRODUCERS

The Declaration of State of Fire Emergency for Queensland was lifted in late November for the central region, including Mackay/Whitsunday areas and a Local Fire Ban excluding cane/tops/trash was enacted. This allows growers to return to burning under their current permit, generally issued for the crushing season.

For full details of the exemption, we ask that you please read the attached declaration from the Rural Fire Service.

CLICK HERE to read the RFS Local Fire Ban Declaration
            
IMIDACLOPRID APPLICATION - MEASUREMENT OF APPLIED DEPTHS
In SRA’s publication Caneconnection Spring 2019 edition, SRA Weeds Agronomist Emilie Fillols reported on trials which showed that runoff losses of imidacloprid were minimised if the liquid imidacloprid was placed at least 100 mm deep and covered with soil, as per the label instructions.  The key message is that imidacloprid if placed correctly, has low chance of being transported into local waterways.  Therefore, the imidacloprid exceedances being recorded in waterways adjacent to sugarcane growing land, suggests that the imidacloprid was not being placed correctly.

With a view to gain an appreciation of the effectiveness of current machinery to achieve the recommended depths, SRA has commenced measuring application depths of imidacloprid.  To date only liquid imidacloprid applicators have been examined.  We have looked at dedicated imidacloprid units and imidacloprid/fertiliser units with both types using stool splitters consisting of coulters and double disc openers or double disc opener only assemblies. Figure 1 - example of double disc opener only assembly

After application of the liquid imidacloprid it is difficult to clearly identify the liquid imidacloprid in the soil. Therefore, the approach taken has been to confirm that the liquid imidacloprid was being directed to the bottom of the double disc opener slot, and subsequently measuring the depth of the slot. Two measurements were taken: depth of the double disc opener slot (application depth), and depth of covering soil in the slot (covered depth), as shown below in Figure 2.  Note also that measurements were taken relative to the soil surface i.e. any trash blanket or mill mud/compost was removed prior to depth measurements.

Figure 2: Measurements taken for imidacloprid application

The double disc openers were found to be able to achieve the recommended 100 mm application depth.  In many cases, while the applicator averaged 100 mm depth, measurements fluctuated around the average due to inconsistent stool height relative to the inter-row space.  The depth wheels running in the inter-row spaces effectively set the depth of the double discs openers, so as stool height varied so did application depths.  A key message was that operators reported that it was important to check the application depths in each paddock and adjust the depth wheels to achieve 100 mm application depth.

The implements with covering devices after the double disc openers (e.g. StoolZippa, press wheels) were found to consistently achieve covered depth equal to application depth.  This generally did not occur for implements without covering devices or with relatively simple covering devices such as a chain.  Please note that we found the results for implements without covering devices were dependent on soil type, for example in gravelly soil conditions the soil flowed into the slot giving complete coverage, whereas if the soil had reasonable clay content or was damp, then coverage was inadequate as shown in Figure 2 above.
It is important to have the imidacloprid nozzle directed at the bottom of the double disc opener slot so that the jet of imidacloprid hits the bottom prior to soil flowing around the discs and covering the slot as shown in Figure 3.  We have observed that at times the nozzle gets bent backwards and as a result the imidacloprid is directed into the soil flowing around the discs which means that the applied imidacloprid is too shallow.

Figure 3: Image of imidacloprid jet directed at the bottom of the double disc opener slot prior to soil covering the slot

Some operators expressed concerned with imidacloprid wetting the inner surfaces of the double discs and subsequently causing fertiliser granules to build up on the inner surfaces, and potentially being deposited on the soil surface.  To address this issue operators have added scrapers to the inner surfaces of the double disc assemblies.

The work reported above is part of a new SRA project aimed at the best practice use of imidacloprid so as to ensure the industry’s ongoing access to imidacloprid as a control for cane grubs.  The project will consider all aspects of stewardship of imidacloprid. This includes, for example, the determination of when to use the chemical, calibration, application (including section controls) and correct placement, and using the chemical only for grub control.  The project is a collaboration between SRA, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, CANEGROWERS, the Australia Cane Farmers Association, Bayer and NuFarm.  It is funded by the Queensland Government Reef water quality program through the Enhanced Extension Coordination in the GBR project.
QSL NOVEMBER UPDATE

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.


DECEMBER & JANUARY OPERATING HOURS

Please note that QSL's Proserpine office will be closed on the following dates during December and January, otherwise the office will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 3pm as usual.
 

Closure dates:

  • 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 also be available from 8.30am to 5pm during all working days in December & January - just call 1800 870 756 for assistance.

 

PRE-CRUSH ADVANCE

QSL growers wanting to increase their cash flow prior to the 2020-Season harvest may like to consider our Pre-Crush Advance Payment option.

Nominations to participate in this scheme open 1 February 2020 and can be made via your QSL Direct account. Contact your local QSL office for details.

ERGON ENERGY LOAD CONTROL TARIFF TRIAL FOR LARGE CUSTOMERS (TARIFF 34)
A load control network tariff for SAC large customers (those using between 11Mwh and 4GhWh per year) has been proposed to be implemented from 1 July 2020. This is the first time a load control tariff would be made available specifically targeting customers of this size range. A load control tariff is one that has a lower tariff rate than most other tariffs, in return for the electricity network being able to temporarily remove electricity supply, typically during times of high demand on the electricity network. To help develop, test and evaluate the technical impacts of a load control tariff for large customers, Ergon Energy Network wishes to implement a trial involving up to 10 customers for approximately a 12 month period and is seeking expressions of interest from customers who wish to participate in this trial.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Tariff 34 trial
Tariff 34 Terms & Conditions
 BLUE GREEN ALGAE - WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR WATER SUPPLY
CANEGROWERS BUMPER STICKER PHOTO COMPETITION
                                     
LEASES   with Bogie & Co. Solicitors, Proserpine & Cannonvale
A lease is a contract by which one party (the landlord) conveys to another party (the tenant) land which can include buildings for a specified period in return for a rent. The arrangement allows an owner in many cases to derive an income from land and buildings without having to carry on a business. A lease can also be used by an owner to enable a related entity to carry on business on property but to avoid any creditors of the business claiming over the land and buildings. The terms of the lease are negotiable so that it is always wise for both a landlord and a tenant to employ legal and financial advisers to consider the various terms.  Many leases will include the following: –
  • duration of the lease and right to renew or end the lease before it expires
  • formula for calculating and reviewing the rent
  • possibility of subletting the premises
  • restrictions of the local town planning laws on types of services or goods that can be traded and trading hours
  • landlord’s obligations to maintain any building
  • rights to end the lease or a temporary reduction of the rent and outgoings if the premises are damaged or destroyed
  • limitations on the ability of the tenant to transfer or assign the lease and the expense involved
  • responsibility to pay for rates and taxes and any other outgoings and repairs of any building during the lease
  • costs of lease and which parties should pay those costs
  • types of insurance required, who will pay for it and who obtains it
  • restrictions on the removal of fixtures and fittings
  • obligations to redecorate during the term and reinstate when the lease ends
  • consequences of failing to pay rent or other breaches of the lease
  • relocation of tenant
  • demolition of any building
  • payment of a security deposit
  • terms of any personal guarantee and indemnity (which is commonly required for the directors of a corporate tenant)
A few matters should be considered before entering into a lease: -
 
1. Duration (term)
It is important for a tenant to ensure the duration of the proposed lease is long enough to be able to recoup the initial investment and to make a profit.  After the expiry of a lease, the landlord is under no obligation to renew that lease and the tenant will have to find alternative premises then to carry on business.  Frequently goodwill is attached to premises (customers visit the premises in many cases) and it is therefore important to protect the use of the premises.
 
2. Options
An option is a right to renew a lease at the discretion of the tenant.  Those tenants starting out in business may choose to have shorter option periods so that they can remove from the premises if business does not produce the planned outcome.  Alternatively, for a longer established business, longer options may be preferable.  This means, however, the tenant is bound by the term of the lease during the initial term or the option period unless released by the landlord in the event of termination of the lease.  
 
Individual leases have specific requirements on how options have to be exercised including the length of notice which has to be given by a tenant to the landlord.  Those requirements should be considered very carefully as failure to give the appropriate notice at the appropriate time can lead to loss of the option.
 
3. Rent and Rent Reviews
 The amount of rent payable and the rent reviews are generally matters of negotiation.  It is important to ensure the correct starting rent is established and if there is any doubt, a valuer should be consulted.  Comparisons are also very useful.
 
The most common types of rent review include:
  • consumer price index (CPI)
  • fixed percentage increase
  • fixed amount
  • market rent
It is common for rent at the commencement of each option period to be determined according to market and usually there is a detailed formula as to how this rent is calculated.  The intervening rent reviews are frequently based on the state of the economy and in many cases are simply a guess as to the best method of reviewing the rent for a landlord. Rents calculated as a percentage of turnover are occasionally also used by a landlord, but it is a question of whether a landlord has confidence in the tenant being able to reach a certain level of turnover or not.
 
4. Permitted Use
This should be wide enough to allow a tenant to develop the business into related areas.
 
This article is written with a view to providing both landlord and tenant a brief view of a typical lease.  Inevitably the interests of landlord and tenant will not coincide on all matters and therefore it is important to obtain independent legal and financial advice.
 
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.
CLASSIFIEDS & NOTICES
                                                                          
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Canegrowers Proserpine · PO Box 374 · Proserpine, Qld 4800 · Australia

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