Managing natural resources used in sugar production systems: eight years on

Kingston, G., and Lawn, R.J. (2003) Managing natural resources used in sugar production systems: eight years on. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, 25. - .

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Sustaining Soil and Water Resources is one of three research programs within the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Sugar Production (CRC Sugar). The program was established to undertake research and education to enhance profitable and sustainable use of soil and water resources in the sugar industry, by assessing potential resource constraints and developing and promoting more effective management practices. The program has drawn heavily on seconded staff (6-7 fulltime equivalents) and in-kind resources from BSES, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, CSIRO Land and Water, CSR Sugar Ltd, NSW Sugar and CSIRO Tropical Agriculture (now Sustainable Ecosystems), supplemented with SRDC cash and competitive project funding, and complemented by 4 or 5 new staff funded using the CRC Program cash grant. The program's portfolio addresses three research themes: resource inventories; production systems based on conservation tillage; and amelioration of adverse soil constraints. Within each of the areas, research activities have sought to add value to the research and expertise of the several joint venture parties. Key achievements from the program are a paradigm shift among researchers toward integrated nutrient management that takes into account soil properties and nutrient re-cycling from various sources, the Soils of the Sugarlands information system, the Sodic Soils Tool Kit, effective long-term liming strategies, a sounder scientific understanding of key soil and water issues, and the enhanced capability in sustainable soil and water management of those who benefited from short course and postgraduate training programs. In addition, postgraduate research projects have opened up several hitherto under-explored issues for further investigation. Areas that in hindsight might have received more attention include an earlier and broader assessment of the impact of the green cane trash blanketing (GCTB) system on crop physiology and nutrient cycling to include the wet tropics. Key resource management issues that require ongoing R&D include strategies for better integration of efficient production and soil resource management with goals for sustainable management of whole eco-systems.

Item ID: 7055
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0726-0822
Keywords: nutrition; research management; soil and water resources; soil constraints; sustainability
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2010 02:16
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 51%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy @ 49%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820304 Sugar @ 51%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 49%
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