Considered an innovator in the industry, Marian cane farmer and award finalist Rodney Lamb has a history of adapting and trialling new equipment to increase environmental and economic benefits for growers. Through the Reef Rescue program Rod has been working with Mackay Productivity Services and local NRM Reef Catchments to adapt his inter row spray shields to only spray when there is a weed detected by a sensor nozzle, in what is known as a WeedSeeker. This adaptation has huge potential to reduce herbicide applied over cane properties and the knowledge gained through Rod’s work will be shared by the industry as a whole.
Reef Catchments Mackay Whitsunday Isaac is assisting Rob Burns and his family to stabilise a major gully slip through revegetation and riparian fencing.
With help from Reef Rescue funding, the Burns family will be permanently fencing a gullyslip on their property and the adjoining creek which will help to control stock access. They will also plant out the landslip area with local native plants to stabilise the soil and reduce any further slips.
Reef Rescue grazing program coordinated by Reef Catchments leads the way for adoption of improved grazing practices. “The fifth year of the program should impact directly on over 120 properties, twice as many as in 2011-12,” said Michael Boyd, Grazing Team Leader.
With three full-time staff running the program, Reef Catchments anticipates that the ambitious target of reaching 80 new grazing properties in the Mackay Whitsunday region in 2012-13 will be met. They attribute the increased involvement of graziers in the program to direct mail campaigns, the May 2012 Reef Rescue Forum, support from industry and word of mouth from previous grant recipients.
Thousands of migratory shorebirds, known as waders, visit the shores of the Mackay Whitsunday region between October and April every year.
To celebrate their arrival, the Mackay community is invited to enjoy an afternoon of free activities on Saturday 6 October between 1-4pm at the Sandfly Creek Environmental Reserve, in the park beside the River Street boat ramp. This event is being hosted by Reef Catchments, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Mackay Regional Council. Continue Reading…
The O’Connell River drains one of the largest catchments in the Mackay Whitsunday region. It’s in one of the 10 priority catchments under the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan and has tidal influence of 83,358 hectares.
Flowing from Clarke Connors range to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, the O’Connell River is a critical site for the Mackay Whitsunday community and for Reef Catchments, who are currently tracking migratory fish movement, installing engineered log jams and interviewing land managers on the river. Continue Reading…
The future is bright for the Deguara family, a Mackay Whitsunday sugar cane family who not only works the land, but has expansion of their operations on the cards with a strong focus on improving the environment.
Sugarcane grower Gerry Deguara heavily involves his two sons, Sam and Joe, in his farming operations. Based in the Reef Catchments area of Mackay Whitsunday, Gerry says a key ingredient to keeping younger growers interested in being land stewards is to offer a bit more of a challenge. Environmental issues certainly makes this possible with a great effort into improving their soil, irrigation, chemical and nutrient to improve water quality through their participation on ‘Project Catalyst’, a project with partners including NRM groups Reef Catchments, NQ Dry Tropics, Terrain in addition to the Coca-Cola Foundation, WWF and the Australian Government through the Caring for our Country’s Reef Rescue program. Continue Reading…
Reef Catchments (Mackay Whitsunday Isaac) Limited staff recently travelled 120 kilometres offshore to find out how the Great Barrier Reef has been affected by fresh water flowing in from the flooded Fitzroy River.
Reef Catchments Water Manager, Carl Mitchell, said the group hoped to detect what had been carried through the flood waters into the Reef and assess the flood’s extent. Continue Reading…
Once again horticulture growers across the Great Barrier Reef catchment have responded well to the uptake of improved practices via incentive funding from the Australian Government. At completion of round 2 incentives, for the bulk of the region, the regional natural resource management bodies involved had received approximately 160 applications seeking joint investment of $2,331,000.
Of this pool of applications 83 projects have been funded to the tune of $1.2 million, resulting in an average investment by participating growers of $1.60 for every dollar invested by the Australia Government. Continue Reading…
By Reef Catchments
If the balancing of economic and environmental sustainability in agriculture was in its infancy 30 years ago, then the past few years have seen an adolescent growth spurt towards maturity.
In the Mackay Whitsunday region improved land management practices from all agricultural sectors such as sugar cane, grazing and horticulture can now be seen.
An overwhelming number of land managers have taken advantage of a unique opportunity to not just increase their overall productivity on farm through improved land management practices, but to also protect the quality of the water flowing into the Great Barrier Reef
Local cane, agriculture and horticulture industries have enthusiastically jumped on board with the financial incentives available through the Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants, with 397 land managers across the Mackay Whitsunday NRM region sharing in a combined $5,069,276 in 2009. Continue Reading…