Smartcane BMP – Chore No More

Sometimes in life, when we start something new it can seem like a bit of a chore.

It could be exercise, eating healthily, budgeting, or any one of a million other things that we know we should do, but don’t really want to.

However, once we form the habit, we begin to realise these ‘chores’ are not nearly as difficult as we first thought.

And if we keep going long enough, these new routines can become an important part of our lives, something that we would never consider giving up.

On an industry scale, the Smartcane Best Management Practice program is a bit like one of these routines.

Smartcane initially came about in reaction to reef regulations being placed on the industry, and as a result, many growers viewed it as an onerous task being forced upon them.

This made uptake slow in the beginning, and it was only through the hard work and dedication of the program’s facilitators that it survived those early years.

However, fast-forward a decade and Smartcane BMP has completely transformed.

Today, more than 42% of Queensland’s cane-growing area is accredited in the program, way ahead of similar programs in other ag sectors.

But that’s not the only difference. Over the years, Smartcane has become a central pillar of many important industry initiatives.

Yes, it still addresses water quality in local waterways, but that has become almost secondary to its main purpose of positioning the industry as a world-leader in the production of sustainable sugarcane.

This is essential to the industry’s success, as it will enable us to access premium markets, where the demand for traceable, sustainable sugar is growing every year.

It is also central to the industry’s diversification goals, with new bio-projects slowly coming online, producing everything from electricity, to bioplastics, to sustainable aviation fuel, and all of them requiring a sustainably grown feedstock.

Smartcane BMP has also helped accredited growers get ahead of the game on climate change.

With the Queensland Government trying to legislate a 30% reduction target, below 2005 emissions, by 2030, industries are scrambling to find way to reduce their emissions.

But recent research has shown that Smartcane BMP accredited growers have already slashed their emissions by 30% on the back of practice change, especially in fertiliser use.

Most importantly, Smartcane BMP is helping growers operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently, and this can lead to increased production or reduced input costs, both of which translate into a better bottom line for accredited growers.

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