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Queensland farmers win national Sustainability Award

7 September 2010

JOHN, Bryan and Terry Granshaw – third generation canegrowers from Dalbeg in Queensland – have taken out the prestigious Sustainability Award under the National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) 2010 Innovation in Agriculture Awards, announced last night at a gala ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne attended by over 200 guests.

The aim of the Sustainability Award is to recognise the coexistence of boosting farm production while ensuring environmentally sustainable outcomes.

“Australian sugarcane growers are recognised worldwide for their cutting-edge practices and the Granshaws are a prime example of this innovation on the ground,” NFF President David Crombie said. “They are leaders in how modern farmers implement the latest research and technology to achieve sound environmental outcomes while being more productive.”

The Granshaws were among the first canegrowers to stop burning and embrace green cane harvesting 20 years ago. Since then, they have reduced fertiliser and chemical use by 60%, reduced soil compaction, reduced water use from 10-day to 28-day cycles. All while improving soil moisture and organic matter levels to lift production to 16,000 tonnes of sugar a year.

Innovative techniques such as the use of GPS harvesters, laser-levelling, minimum tillage, computerised farm data recording, shielded sprayers, water recycling and designing permanent beds with a two-metre row configuration all help the Granshaws to get the best out of their land while reducing environmental impacts.

Adopting a philosophy of adapt or fail, the Granshaws can boast one of Australia’s most progressive farms. Practically every advancement in farming over the past 20 years can be found here, including:

  • Trash blanketing,
  • Controlled traffic,
  • Green cane harvesting,
  • GPS harvesters,
  • Laser-levelling,
  • Legume fallows,
  • Minimum till,
  • Biological and grub control, and
  • Recycling pits to catch run-off.

In doing so, their reef-friendly cane farm is environmentally sustainable, and more profitable, saving on time, labour, fuel and wear-and-tear on equipment.

“The Granshaws have achieved that critical balance between environmental stewardship of their land and getting the most out of it, with the benefits to be shared by themselves, future generations and the entire community,” Mr Crombie said.

“What’s more, they will not stop here. They are always on the lookout for the next bit of research, the next bit of technology, which they can use to continue to be the best producers of food, fibre and energy.

“Australian farmers occupy and manage more than half of this nation’s landmass. They are our frontline in delivering environmental programs and active management on the ground where it counts in far flung areas that would otherwise be overrun by feral pests and weeds. It’s a sacred trust that farmers take very seriously and John, Bryan and Terry Granshaw are worthy winners of the 2010 Sustainability Award.”

For more information on the Granshaw’s farm visit: Virtual Bus Tour - Granshaw

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Photos are available below.

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Media Enquiries: Bryan Granshaw on 0421 631 897

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