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ACFA E-Newsletter

24 September 2021




Bioenergy: how to turn sugarcane into jet fuel

24 September 2021 | AFR

An innovative Australian biotech leader has recently entered into a partnership to turn sugarcane waste into jet fuel.

It’s an exciting development for the emerging biofuel sector, which is taking Australia’s considerable agricultural waste resource and turning it into green energy.

Land around the Burdekin River, south of Townsville in north Queensland, is one of the world’s most prolific sugar-growing areas, thanks to an enormous aquifer that sits under the region.

The billet or stalk from the sugarcane goes to the mill, but the cane tops and trash – dead leaves – are byproducts of the harvest that usually go up in smoke, which is an ecological nightmare given the land is so close to the Great Barrier Reef.

Each year, a whopping 5.7 million tonnes of tops and trash is produced in Queensland alone. This material can’t be left in the field because the furrows between the sugarcane rows would get clogged up, preventing water from the aquifer from flowing through them. More...


Paradise Dam irrigators reveal pain two years on from controversial decision

24 September 2021 | Queensland Country Life

Bundaberg irrigators held a press conference today to mark the two-year anniversary of the Paradise Dam controversy, revealing how they've been forced to "pray for rain" and buy in water at high prices.

Meeting at Robert De Paoli's property on the eve of the anniversary, the farmers called on the State Government to restore the dam's wall height to ensure their economic future. More...


Webinar: Screening for disease resistance and SRA's improved disease rating system

7 October 2021 | SRA

Use of resistant varieties is the most effective and cheapest option for managing some important sugarcane diseases, such as smut, pachymetra root rot, Fiji leaf gall, leaf scald, and mosaic diseases. More...


UQ-designed cane toad lure may curb spread thanks to new deal

22 September 2021 | UQ

Australia may soon have the jump on cane toads after a Gold Coast not-for-profit was granted an exclusive licence to market a University of Queensland-designed bait for the invasive pests.

The environmentally friendly lure developed by UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience researcher Professor Rob Capon and Professor Rick Shine from the University of Sydney uses the pheromones of adult cane toads to attract tadpoles, trapping them before they grow and reproduce. More...



Ag irrigators powering up with electricity tariff research study

22 September 2021 | QFF

Australia has gone from having a competitive advantage in energy costs to being one of the most expensive countries in the world. This significant change has impacted the productivity and profitability of many irrigated and intensified farm businesses. More...


Labour supply issues, oversupply of produce leads to 'difficult' economic times for farmers

24 September 2021 | ABC

We all like a bargain but do you ever wonder how much you should be paying for your food so the person producing it is making money?

Recently avocados have been advertised for as little as $1 each, which is great for shoppers but not so great for growers like Russell Delroy. More...


Trial looks at herbicide residue yield penalties

23 September 2021 | Farm Weekly

A trial which aims to compare the potential yield penalty incurred due to herbicide residues in comparison to the yield penalty inherent in growing a herbicide-resistant variety has had some surprising results given the unusual seasonal conditions. More...

Soil probes provide real-time moisture data

24 September 2021 | Farm Weekly

A PROJECT which involves the testing of soil moisture probe technology was one of the key focuses of the Liebe Group's Spring Field Day held at Dalwallinu earlier this month, with the ultimate aim being to increase growers' awareness and knowledge about how the technology could add value to their businesses. More...


First credits sold under state carbon scheme as industry eyes boom

21 September 2021 | ABC

A central Queensland couple has become the first to sell carbon credits under the state government's Land Restoration Fund (LRF).

In the $25 million scheme's first eligible project, Monto graziers Robert and Nadia Campbell will agree to store 165,000 tonnes of carbon on their 7,000-hectare Goondicum Station for 25 years. More...

States and territories revolt over federal government's coal power subsidy plan

24 September 2021 | ABC

The federal government is facing a revolt from states and territories over its plan to allow subsidies for coal and gas-fired power stations as part of reforms to shore up reliability of the electricity grid.

Victoria "will not support" the plan it dubs "CoalKeeper," and the ACT will "adamantly oppose" it at a meeting of federal, state and territory energy ministers being held today. More...


Habitat restoration reduces farm run-off into Richmond River catchment

18 September 2021 | ABC

It takes a whole lot of hard work to bounce back from a D-minus report card, but that's been the focus for the Richmond River catchment after it received the eco-health rating from UNE in 2015.

Over the past three years, 34 farmers on the Alstonville plateau have reduced sediment and nutrient run-off into the Richmond River by restoring habitat, fencing off stock and repairing bank erosion. More...


Urgent action needed to tackle hungry plant pest

24 September 2021 | Farm Online

Farmers want speedy access to a new chemical to help combat the rapid spread of fall armyworm in sorghum and millet crops. 

Grains Producers Australia wants urgent action so farmers to have another weapon in their armoury to tackle this new invader. More...


Chunk of Fonterra Australia may hit the market

23 September 2021 | North Queensland Register

Giant NZ dairy cooperative Fonterra has announced it is reviewing its ownership of Fonterra Australia.

In a statement today, Fonterra said one option was an initial public offering, with the intention that the co-op retained a significant stake.

The coop seemed to have two different takes on its strategy. More...

The future of Fonterra in Australia

23 September 2021 | Farm Weekly

Australian milk might be some of the best in the world but, Fonterra Australia's managing director says, it's not New Zealand milk. 

The result is that a chunk of the local business is being put up for sale, with strings attached.

In statements this morning, the giant NZ cooperative announced that it was placing "a greater focus on our New Zealand milk". More...


Ag advice critical to yield gains

20 September 2021 | Farm Weekly

The managing director of one of Australia's largest farm services has said the agricultural support and advisory sector will be critical in allowing the industry to reach its full potential.

Rob Clayton, Nutrien Ag Solutions, said Australia would need a large step up in grain yields if it was to get close to the National Farmers' Federation's much-publicised target of $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030. More...


Leadership Development Scholarships for Women in Farming & Agriculture

Date | Source

Scholarships are now available through Women & Leadership Australia to encourage more women to step into leadership roles and to support the further development of current women leaders in the Farming and Agriculture Sector. 

Partial scholarships of $1000-$5000 will support participation in one of three leadership development courses designed for emerging through to senior leaders. 

Apply by 30 November 2021 or find out more at



Week Mill Crush (t) %CSS
Date STD Week STD
22 Sep 2021 Mossman 411,914
19 Sep 2021 Tableland 438,625 13.71 14.15
19 Sep 2021 Mulgrave 739,641 11.69 11.40
19 Sep 2021 South Johnstone 831,336 11.49 11.49
24 Sep 2021 Tully 1,400,924 12.80 12.71
19 Sep 2021 Victoria 1,413,700 12.64 12.61
19 Sep 2021 Macknade 661,851
18 Sep 2021 Invicta 1,911,283 14.36 14.45
18 Sep 2021 Pioneer 1,038,113 14.58 14.51
18 Sep 2021 Kalamia 1,005,131 13.91 14.05
18 Sep 2021 Inkerman 919,747 14.58 14.21
18 Sep 2021 Proserpine 831,336 14.55 14.34
19 Sep 2021 Mackay 2,720,495 14.67 13.69
18 Sep 2021 Plane Creek 752,503 15.22 14.02
19 Sep 2021 Bundaberg 831,336 15.19 13.19
12 Sep 2021 Isis 533,437 14.37 13.59
12 Sep 2021 Rocky Point 102,651 14.35 13.69
19 Sep 2021 Harwood 340,339 13.28 12.01
19 Sep 2021 Broadwater 400,971 13.57 12.33
19 Sep 2021 Condong 276,555 13.19 12.05



Weekly Rainfall Update

for 7 days to 9 am 21 September 2021

Rainfall Statistics

Week Ending 24 September 2021

TownSep YTD
 Mossman37.8 1362.8
Mareeba 19.0 810.2
Cairns  11.82263.0
Innisfail 101.8 4290.8
Tully 101.84290.8
Ingham 25.83046.4
Ayr 4.0942.0
Proserpine 13.8981.0
Mackay 5.4987.6
Maryborough 11.6563.2
Ballina 19.21375.2
Yamba 16.41354.6