Cane growing brothers keen for change

Greg, Jamie and Brian Dore are well-known cane farmers in the Euramo region just south of Tully and have received Reef Rescue funding for a zonal offset discing project. This means that only 42% of the total area of their property is being tilled, significantly reducing the amount of soil that is worked.

Including their own farm, the Dores manage over 1,000 hectares of cane land in the district and are keen to participate in industry information sharing events, such as ‘farmers teaching farmers’ days as well as innovative projects like Project Catalyst, which supports cane growers to develop and test new practices in sugarcane production.

Greg Dore talking about his Reef Rescue project on a ‘farmers teaching farmers’ bus tour in the Tully region.

Greg Dore talking about his Reef Rescue project on a ‘farmers teaching farmers’ bus tour in the Tully region.

On a ‘farmers teaching farmers’ bus tour that was organised by Tully Cane Productivity Services Ltd this past December, the Dore brothers displayed their zonal offset discing project.

The Dores contributed significant funds to the project with further support from the Australian Government’s Reef Rescue Water Quality Incentive Grants.

Having manufactured the zonal disc cultivator mostly themselves, the brothers are now able to do pre-plant tillage in fallow blocks with offset discs of an 800mm zone out of a total of 1900mm.

Instead of discing the entire block, as they did previously, they can now solely disc the planting zone, leaving the compacted controlled traffic areas untouched.

Greg Dore said, “We’re really happy with our farming system and we think that what we’ve got now is something that we can work with in to the future.”

Ultimately this will help to keep soil on the paddock in an unpredicted high rainfall event, something that is not uncommon in the Wet Tropics region,” he said.

The Dore farm is located near the Tully and Murray rivers in a flood risk area with the entire property having been flooded on occasion.

Farming in this area, the loss of soil is a major concern for the brothers, so they are very pleased to have received a Reef Rescue Water Quality Incentive Grant to help them achieve their new farming system.

Terrain NRM administered the Reef Rescue funding for the Dores project. Terrain is one of 56 regional bodies across Australia supporting natural resource management.