NEW TECHNOLOGIES MAKE SENSE FOR INNOVATIVE MULTI-CROP FARMER
Ben Poggioli is a multi-crop farmer of up to 250 hectares of peanuts, corn, pumpkin, hay and sugar cane in the Barron region of Queensland. The Poggiolis were able to access funding via the Australian Government’s Reef Programme, which has seen Ben at the forefront of implementing new methodologies in an attempt to minimise the application of pesticides to his productive area. Ben has observed a change in the industry and notes that there is more conversation about new technologies and improved practices. “It’s an economical decision in that it means less man hours, less fuel burn, and less machinery needing to be owned to get the same results, and it’s a sustainability decision in that there are benefits in things like nutrient and soil management and soil retention,” Ben said.
Image: Ben Poggioli, pictured with his P38 bed top strip-till for any crop grown on beds.
His drive for innovation and lowered inputs has seen an adoption of zonal or minimum tillage farming practices, via the purchase of non-power take off (PTO) equipment. Ben says they are doing the least amount of tillage to get the best results possible. Ben noted after the heavy rain event in January this year there was zero erosion on sloping blocks that had been strip-tilled, whereas those with conventional tillage had experienced erosion. Reef Programme grants delivered by Terrain NRM and industry partners in the Wet Tropics area help farmers improve land management practices and contribute to the improvement of the quality of water flowing in to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. For further information on innovation and best practice land management projects in the Wet Tropics region, call Terrain NRM on 07 4043 8000, or visit www.terrain.org.au.