Reinaudo Family

Variable rate nutrient application within block

Region: Wet Tropics | Ingham, Lannercost and Bambaroo

Year: 2015

Michael Reinaudo, along with his brother Darren, father Nelson and uncle Victor, farm 750 ha in the Ingham, Lannercost and Bambaroo areas.

Photo: Darren, Michael, Nelson and Victor Reinaudo, on their property at Ingham.

Reinaudo Family

Variable rate nutrient application within block

Michael Reinaudo, along with his brother Darren, father Nelson and uncle Victor, farm 750 ha in the Ingham, Lannercost and Bambaroo areas.

The Reinaudo family have a harvesting contract and they do a small amount of contract planting on neighbouring properties and within their local community.

Current farming practices include planting with a Mizzi mound planter on 1.83m wide rows using a controlled traffic system.

The Reinaudo family have received funding through the federal government’s Reef Programme (formerly Reef Rescue) program to help improve their farming practices.

They have made changes to their controlled traffic and mound planting system, widened their high rise spray tractor and also purchased a stool-splitter fertiliser applicator which is capable of variable rate application with the help of this funding.

Issues being addressed

For Michael Reinaudo and his family, farming over such a wide area of the Herbert Valley means that their blocks can have different soil types, and in most cases, there are even different soil types within the same block.

As such, the Reinaudo’s believe that they shouldn’t be putting the same level of nutrients on their blocks as the differing soil types across their farmland means blocks have different requirements, not one uniform requirement. Therefore, the Reinaudo’s are investigating opportunities to vary the nutrient rate within blocks.

Solutions being tested

Develop nutrient plans using BPS001 Guidelines. These guidelines include: Veris mapping ; soil sampling each EC zone with GPS location; yield maps to identify zones in paddock; topography (effect of water); Satellite imagery and grower’s knowledge of the block. These factors were used in developing 2 yield potential zones within the block and the nutrient plan was developed using the yield potential of each zone.

Variable and fixed rate replicated strip trials have been established. The control strip fertiliser rate is based on “six easy steps” recommendations.

The trial was harvested as plant cane in 2013 & 1st ratoon in2014. Economic analysis has not yet been completed.

With the help of Reef Programme funding (formerly Reef Rescued) the Reinaudo family have made changes to their controlled traffic and mound planting system, widened their high rise spray tractor and also purchased a stool-splitter fertiliser applicator which is capable of variable rate application.

Reinaudo Trial Results – Graph