Reef Trust Tender – Wet Tropics is one of the first projects to be funded from the Reef Trust and targets the greatest water quality risk to the Great Barrier Reef: nitrogen discharge from the Wet Tropics.
Reef Trust Tender – Wet Tropics provides financial incentives to sugar cane farmers in the Wet Tropics to improve their nitrogen use efficiency and farm sustainability.
A number of fertilizer products may assist growers to improve nitrogen use efficiency. A Fertcare® Accredited Advisor such as a BioAg Area Manager can provide advice on selecting and using these products.
BioAg has funded research and trials in order to develop natural fertilisers and liquid microbial fermented cultures that help primary producers reduce their reliance on nitrogen fertilisers.
This in turn means there is less nitrogen lost through run-off.
A combination of independent and replicated trials and on-farm trials in corn, cotton, pastures and rice have shown increased yields while reducing the standard district nitrogen input practice.
Why are BioAg products and programs better for the Great Barrier Reef?
The short answer is: BioAg programs improve the health of the soil, making it work better. It is better able to deliver nutrients from fertiliser, as well as moisture to a crop, and better equipped to store excess nutrient and moisture.
Less nutrient and moisture washes across the top of the soil and into waterways, and less leaches (seeps) down through the soil, below the reach of the roots of a crop, and again into water tables.
Lastly, the soils ability to better use applied fertilisers, as well as nutrients already existing in the soil, means less fertiliser needs to be applied.
You can read more about the Australian fertiliser industries efforts to reduce the negative impacts on the Great Barrier Reef on the Fertilizer Australia website.