Neville Huddleston is without a doubt one of Farmacist’s busiest clients, juggling both a full-time job at Aurizon and the lifestyle of a cane farmer in between. Farmacist has been providing agronomic advice and support to Nev for several years now, and during this time he has always been eager to adopt sustainable and economical farming practices.
In terms of soil type, their farm is a combination of sandy loam and medium clay soils, which has caused problems when it comes to chemical choices in the past. Nev heard about GBRF’s Project Bluewater 2 through our on-farm visits and was interested in joining to gain confidence and expand his knowledge of pesticide applications and product choices.
Project Bluewater 2 is designed to assist and educate growers on appropriate pesticide management plans for their farm and to reduce their pesticide risk factor.
Growers are provided with on-farm extension tailored to the specific needs of their farm, taking into consideration factors like previous and current pesticide use. Under the project, Farmacist assesses their spray rigs and also provides growers with a Pesticide Management Plan that details neighbouring sensitive areas, their weed pressures, drainage, soil constraints, paddocks slopes, and the proximity of watercourses/buffers, and provides choices for pesticide use within regulations.
“The project has been a blessing in providing knowledge as well as new and more effective ways to apply pesticides.” - Nev
Prior to being part of the project, Nev was applying a variety of products that included Imazapic, Hexazinone, Paraquat, 2,4-D Amine, Glyphosate, Diuron, and Atrazine. Since signing up to the project, Nev’s pesticide choices now consist of Paraquat, S-Metolachlor, 2,4-D Amine, Fluroxypyr, Pendimethalin, Flumioxazin, Picloram (75-D), and Isoxaflutole.
Nev used his minor grower grant towards upgrading his spray rig to a T-Bar Inter-row system with floodjets (Figure 1, above left) and a flat-boom with triple nozzle bodies and nozzles (Figure 2, above right). Nev has worked closely with Adam Keilbach from Farmacist throughout the project, explaining that Adam has "helped me bring life to my existing spray rig equipment with his wealth of knowledge".
Nev also noted, “It doesn’t matter what size equipment or budget you have, there are always improvements that can be done. The Farmacist team has always been excellent with their advice and recommendations to help from the smallest improvements to the larger ones.
“When driving around the farm, I can see the difference in the cane’s performance and very little product is needed. I’m saving money and time thanks to Adam and GBRF Project Bluewater 2.” -Nev
The Point Of Difference, Precision to Decision, and Project Bluewater projects are funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and Farmacist Pty Ltd.
This article was published in the Summer 2023 issue of Farmacist News. To read the full article, download the printable version using the link below: