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ACFA E-Newsletter

18 December 2020

The ACFA office will be closed from Monday, 21 December 2020 and reopen on Monday, 11 January 2021.




Canefarmers enlisted in war against acid-spitting yellow crazy ants in wet tropics

18 December 2020 | ABC

The environmental agency responsible for eradicating acid-spitting yellow crazy ants is finding vital clues in the cane paddocks adjoining the world heritage-listed, rainforest-clad hills south of Cairns.

As much as one-third of the 1,750 hectares infested with yellow crazy ants is under sugarcane production, along with vast tracts of wet tropical rainforest and residential subdivisions in the growth corridor between Edmonton and Gordonvale.

The potential for the ants to spread along the region's extensive cane rail network and be transported by farm machinery was quickly identified as a potential vulnerability.

But that weakness has turned to strength thanks to a partnership between the Mulgrave Central Mill, where about 60 local growers and harvester operators are involved. More...


FNQ miller and growers team up to shake up local sugarcane industry

17 December 2020 | CRCNA

The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia’s (CRCNA) latest research collaboration is looking to break the mould for sugarcane variety R&D and deliver long-term, commercially viable diversification options for far north Queensland cane growers and millers.

The $1.3 million, three-year suitable sugarcane to diversify income and add value project is focused on boosting tonnages and extracting more value from feedstock delivered to Far Northern Milling’s Mossman mill in an effort to support the long-term prosperity of local growers, the mill and the broader far north Queensland economy.

Project lead Professor Frederik Botha from the University of Queensland’s Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) said crop trials of commercial, near commercial and energy cane varieties have already started on the Tablelands and in Mossman. Crop trials will also include the testing of several sorghum varieties as possible supplementary biomass inputs for Mossman mill. More...


Sugar leaders carve out future vision

15 December 2020 | Newsport Daily

The country’s Australian sugar industry leaders have carved out a vision for the future following a forum which involved Canegrowers, Australian Sugar Milling Council, Australian Cane Farmers’ Association, and Sugar Research Australia.

The agreed working vision is: Sugar Plus: a vibrant, transforming industry, sustainably producing sugar and bio-products at the heart of regional communities. More....

First Time Trade - Sugarcane Credits Reward Sustainability

Date | CSR Wire

The first ever trade of certified sustainable sugarcane credits was completed on the Bonsucro Credit Trading Platform. Forty farmers in Brazil have collectively sold 162,300 tonnes of sustainable sugarcane credits to Barry Callebaut, the global chocolate producer. The farmers belong to the Brazilian sugarcane farming associations, Socicana and Assobari, both of which are committed to sustainable agriculture. More...


Summer La Niña: some farmers fret it, others celebrate it

16 December 2020 | ABC

Hundreds of homes without power, evacuation orders issued, roads cut off, collapsed sand dunes and large waves lashing beaches.

These are just some of the scenes that have been unfolding in the past few days as a great stretch of Australia's east coast was hit by wild weather. More...


StepUP 2021: Supporting Young Farmers in the Sugar Industry

December 2020

Next Gen’s Case IH Step UP! Conference is back in 2021 and registrations are now open. With 2020 cancelled due to COVID 19 organisers are on track for the event to be held over 2 days, 9th and 10th February 2021 in Bundaberg Queensland.

“It has been a different year to say the least with COVID 19 throwing new challenges into our ever day lives. While our conference could not go on, it became evident that the agricultural industry is an essential service and our farmers became more appreciated than ever” said Gerard Puglisi, Next Gen Officer. More...




FarmReady Hub launched to address skills and labour shortages

16 December 2020 | QFF

The Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance (RJSA) and FarmReady Hub have partnered to launch a comprehensive online accreditation program for jobseekers looking to enter the Australian agriculture sector.

The Pre-Induction Micro-Credential program allows prospective agriculture employees to obtain a FarmReady Card that prepares them for work on farm and opens career pathways to all the employment opportunities across Queensland’s agriculture sector. More...

Pressure grows for new 'ag visa' to ease farm labour shortages

15 December 2020 | ABC

Pressure is mounting within the Federal Government to establish a new visa that would allow overseas workers to come to Australia to work on farms, with a Coalition-stacked committee of MPs reigniting the call for an "ag visa". More...

Pacific Islanders ready to take up fruit picking jobs on North Queensland farms

16 December 2020 | Queensland Country Life

Labour shortages in the agriculture sector are again in the spotlight after the latest national cabinet meeting on Friday. More...

The University of Southern Queensland's takes a leading role in fight against invasive species

16 December 2020 | Queensland Country Life

The University of Southern Queensland has been given an important role in the fight against invasive species threatening agriculture and native animals as part of a new national research hub. More...


FutureFeed's seaweed stockfeed to cut methane wins The Food Planet Prize

15 December 2020 | Farm Online

An Australian livestock feed supplement made from seaweed to substantially reduce methane emissions in beef and dairy cattle has won the largest monetary reward on the global food stage. More...

Moree hemp crop trial just the start of farmer led company's bold plans

17 December 2020 | The Land

A new farmer led company are hoping their first experience growing medicinal hemp will eventually lead to them producing lower cost CBD products rather than consumers having to rely on imported stock.

Custom harvesters and even a processing plant could one day be on the cards for the north of the state if licensing around hemp production allows it. More...


Agronomists digest latest herbicide data

17 December 2020 | Farm Weekly

The most recent data available on herbicide resistance in Western Australia was presented to agronomists and industry professionals at a Crop Protection Forum, hosted by the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) at The University of Western Australia (UWA) on Tuesday of last week. More...



Week Mill Crush (t) %CSS
Date STD Week STD
30 Oct 2020
Mossman 647,983 12.59
13 Nov 2020 Tableland 596,801 14.37
27 Nov 2020 Mulgrave 1,290,339  
6 Dec 2020 South Johnstone 1,483,210 12.33
3 Dec 2020 Tully 2,463,549 12.96
28 Nov 2020 Victoria 2,898,446 13.19
28 Nov 2020 Macknade 1,351,953
21 Nov 2020 Invicta 3,119,398 14.47
21 Nov 2020 Pioneer 1,549,191 14.90
21 Nov 2020 Kalamia 1,583,502 14.42
21 Nov 2020 Inkerman 1,535,795 14.73
14 Nov 2020 Proserpine 1,583,502 14.35
10 Dec 2020 Mackay 5,151,556 14.12
21 Nov 2020 Plane Creek 1,234,330 14.23
24 Oct 2020 Bundaberg 1,047,595 14.67
25 Nov 2020 Isis 808,815 14.81
18 Nov 2020 Maryborough 633,914 14.49
14 Nov 2020 Rocky Point 281,110 13.80
29 Nov 2020 Harwood 551,313 11.87
22 Nov 2020 Broadwater 661,615 12.20
29 Nov 2020 Condong 511,083 11.60



Weekly Rainfall Update

for 7 days to 9 am 15 December 2020

Rainfall Statistics

Week Ending 18 December 2020

Town Dec YTD
Mareeba44.6 525.0
Cairns 16.6 1382.6
Maryborough 78.8834.4

Oscillation helps summer rain get its MJO back

15 December 2020 | Farm Online

Northern Australia has been drenched with falls of over 200mm in parts of Western Australia, Queensland and NSW as the summer wet season kicks off in earnest, sparked by the onset of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) over our tropics. More...


La Nina finally arrives after hottest spring on record

16 December 2020 | Farm Online

As the heavens opened up on a dry NSW North Coast landscape this week, many are still recovering from the hottest spring on record, and the driest November, wondering how relevant climate events such as La Nina are anymore. More...

Don't rely on scheme water in a fire

11 December 2020 | Farm Weekly

With another challenging bushfire season predicted for southern Western Australia, Water Minister Dave Kelly has reminded the community not to rely on their scheme water supply if they plan to stay and defend their property.

Heat-damaged water infrastructure or power outage may result in a loss of supply. More...