MSF Sugar operations manager Maryborough farms Tony Coutts-Smith, general manager Maryborough region Stewart Norton, cane supply superintendent Chris Coutts-Smith and Akuna project manager Glenn Harris.
MSF Sugar operations manager Maryborough farms Tony Coutts-Smith, general manager Maryborough region Stewart Norton, cane supply superintendent Chris Coutts-Smith and Akuna project manager Glenn Harris. Alistair Brightman

New irrigation infrastructure can be operated by smart phone

MSF Sugar has unveiled a new piece of infrastructure designed to increase water and energy efficiency for cane growers.

LNP Senator Matt Canavan and Member for Maryborough Anne Maddern toured the Maryborough Sugar Factory on Tuesday, inspecting progress on their $15 million water efficiency project.

The first of the 40 new centre pivots being installed by MSF Sugar across 17 cane farming projects is ready for operation.

Part of the water efficiency project, the centre pivot on MSF Sugar's Marriott's Farm in Maryborough is the first to help ensure efficient water usage to maximise sugar cane growth.

MSF Sugar Maryborough region general manager Stewart Norton said the new pivots delivered significantly greater water and energy efficiency.

"These centre pivots use leading edge technology that allow them to be remotely operated by a smart phone (and) incorporate moisture monitoring capability so water application can be optimised," he said.

Mr Norton said the project was aimed at delivering an expanded, more secure and more reliable irrigation system.

Mr Canavan said MSF demonstrated the importance of water to farming operations.

"Whether you are growing crops or rearing livestock, a reliable water supply is essential and the severe drought that has impacted so much of Queensland in recent years is grim testament to that fact," he said.

Ms Maddern said water was critical in the Maryborough area where sugar cane required 12 mega-litres per hectare of water to achieve maximum growth.

"Their move to centre-pivot irrigation is a crucial step in drought-proofing cane land," she said.



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