Project Catalyst

Improving Water Quality Through Innovation
Funded through The Australian Government Reef Trust, WWF and The Coco-Cola foundation (through Catchment Solutions), Project Catalyst aims to reduce the environmental impact that the sugarcane industry has on Queensland water ways and the Great Barrier Reef. Project Catalyst covers 3 major regions: Mackay and Proserpine, the Burdekin and the Wet Tropics. Growers involved in Project Catalyst are provided with support to develop and trial innovative ideas to reduce their nutrient and chemical losses in off-farm run off.

Farmacist is pleased to be able to deliver the on-ground components and support to Catalyst growers in the Mackay and Burdekin regions. These projects will include:
Mackay region:
  • Low cost telemetry and soil moisture system to improve irrigation efficiencies 
  • Biological soil additives
  • Trickle irrigation in sugarcane
  • ​Reducing fertiliser rates following a green manure legume crop
  • Development of low cost, automated variable rate application maps
  • Development of herbicide strategies based on spatial location of weed pressure
  • Mixed varieties on Sodic Soils [ Blog Post ]
Burdekin Region:
  • Monitoring ground water nitrates 
  • Reducing fertiliser rates on nitrogen-efficient sugarcane varieties [ Blog Post ]
  • Using crop sensors to determine nitrogen content of young sugarcane crops [ Blog Post ]
  • Remote soil moisture sensing and telemetry
  • Alternate row irrigation [ Blog Post ]
  • Monitoring soil nitrate avaliability over time after mung bean cover crops [ Blog Post ]
The Farmacist team regularly posts about the Project Catalyst on the Farmacist Blog! For more information about the trials being conducted, click the links next to the trial concepts above!