Existing Reef protection regulations

Best management practice in reef catchments

All growers and producers are encouraged to adopt best management agricultural practices. There are a number of current programs to help specific industries.

Smartcane BMP

The industry developed Smartcane BMP program, is a robust and practical system that is about improving productivity, profitability and sustainability of farm enterprises. Through the Smartcane BMP, growers self-assess their practices to determine if they are ‘below’, ‘at’, or ‘above’ the current industry standard. If their activities are below the industry standard, the system shows what they would need to do to reach that standard. Help is also available through local facilitators, who can also assist producers to have their BMPs independently accredited.

These are the core Smartcane BMP industry standard modules to be met:

  • Soil Health and Nutrient Management.
  • Irrigation and Drainage Management.
  • Weed, Pest and Disease Management.

These modules will also help you comply with the regulated standards and, most likely, save you money while minimising the risk of valuable nutrients, pesticides and sediment leaving the property and impacts on the health of the reef.

For more information or to register for Smartcane BMP, please contact the CANEGROWERS BMP Project Manager, Kate Gowdie on 0447 035 840 or email

In addition, there are a number of programs and support tools provided by the Australian and Queensland governments and industry organisations to help cane farmers adopt best farming practices.

Banana BMP

The Banana BMP program is focused on supporting banana growers in Reef catchments and is a practical and proven way to improve grower knowledge and water quality outcomes for the Reef.

Phase 1 of the Banana BMP project was delivered by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council with a focus on Banana BMP extension and grower record keeping with the development and extension of the BetterBunch app.

Phase 2 of the project provides help and extension to banana growers about farming practices that have water quality and biosecurity benefits.

The BMP is receiving an additional $1 million for incentives and on-ground extension, providing opportunity for banana growers in high-priority areas, primarily in the Wet Tropics and Cape York regions, to undertake actions that will reduce sediment and nutrient run-off. This includes implementing works such as sediment basins, contour banks, waterway/drainage upgrades or constructed wetlands.

For more information, visit the Australian Banana Growers’ Council website.

In this guide:

  1. How does this impact cane farmers?
  2. How does this impact graziers?
  3. Impacts of nutrient and pesticide run-off from cane farming
  4. Impacts of sediment run-off from grazing
  5. Support programs and tools for cane farmers
  6. Support programs and tools for graziers
  7. Best management practice in reef catchments
  8. Managing agricultural chemicals
  9. Nutrient calculation and soil sampling

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