Mulgrave-Russell Regional Water Quality Program

Preventing 72 tonnes of DIN entering the Reef’s waters every year.

The Mulgrave-Russell Water Quality Program aims to prevent 72 tonnes of dissolved inorganic nitrogen from entering the Reef's waters every year.

This $6.2 million investment under the Reef Trust Partnership is supporting precision agriculture, improved farming practices, water quality monitoring and controlled drainage to reduce DIN runoff and improve catchment water quality, productivity and sustainability outcomes.

The program will build upon previous nitrogen research projects to support growers in maximising profitability, by delivering precision agriculture data and an extension program to 66 farms across 6,600 hectares of sugarcane farms. A dynamic, interactive water quality monitoring and extension program will be implemented at the paddock and catchment-scale, to improve rapport, research credibility and mutual understanding between scientists, extension practitioners, land managers and farmers, leading to water quality improvements.

Program delivery will be managed locally by the Reef Rainforest Research Centre who have been appointed as Regional Program Manager, who are supported by CANEGROWERS Cairns as Regional Partnership Coordinator.

Mulgrave-Russell Regional Water Quality Program

Projects

Precision to Decision - Sharpening the focus of nutrient management in the Mulgrave-Russell catchment

Precision to Decision - Sharpening the focus of nutrient management in the Mulgrave-Russell catchment

Farmacist $3,000,000

Farmacist will support Mulgrave-Russell sugarcane growers in using precision agricultural techniques across 66 farms and 6,600 hectares, providing a pathway and a framework for enhanced economic and environmental sustainability. The project will fast-track the delivery of essential base data and an extension program, designed to increase adoption of refined nutrient management, improve farm management practices, and improve the quality of water flowing to the Reef.

Mulgrave-Russell water quality monitoring & remediation program

Mulgrave-Russell water quality monitoring & remediation program

James Cook University (TropWATER) $1,556,850

This project will improve water quality outcomes specific to the management of DIN leaving sugarcane and banana farms by establishing paddock and catchment-scale water quality monitoring, extension activities, remediation strategies and controlled drainage. Remediation strategies will use existing agricultural drainage systems to selectively target, divert and treat early wet season, high nitrate ‘first flushes’ through retention of water for short periods in existing artificial drains, or diversion of water into existing wetlands or low-lying areas.