Proserpine Young Farmers

 Proserpine Young Farmers is a group for young people involved in the agriculture industry in the Proserpine district.    

We are planning a range of activities to improve our knowledge and share our ideas with each other.

If you are under 40 and interested in joining. Please contact Molly O'Dea on 0439 619 082.

Like our page on Facebook for updates - "Proserpine Young Farmers"    

Wilmar Pricing and Marketing Sessions

Angus from Wilmar has been hosting pricing and marketing sessions for PYF. Our first session was an introduction to the world of sugar marketing. We recently had our second session where we focused on the basics of sugar futures. Next session we can start to get into more detail. We hope to be able to better understand pricing and marketing of sugar to be in the best position to maximise returns. 

Thanks to Angus McKerrow and Wilmar for taking the time to teach us (and feed us!).

Burdekin Trip Dec 2019

On Friday we went to SRA and learnt some tips and tricks about irrigation efficiency from Gavan Lamb and checked out plant breeding with Catherine, chatted with Alex Olsen from Autoweed about green-on-green spray technology and went to the grand opening of a new irrigation company Irrigation Efficiency Solutions.

On Saturday we visited Dennis Pozzebon who has automated his irrigation across his farm. He was able to turn on and off pumps, and change flow rate at a touch of a button on his iPad. Steve Attard from Agritech Solutions met us a Dennis' and talked about irrigation efficiency and automation options.

Damon and Chris Hesp have a lateral irrigator and plenty of green machines, they chatted to us about their farming system and things they have been trying over the years including reducing tillage and green cane trash blanketing.

Heath Salter also has automated irrigation on his farm which he chatted to us about. We also were able to see rice and soybeans being grown in rotation with cane.

We stopped off to see a pump station in the Burdekin River where they pump water up into one of the channels which is part of the Burdekin River Irrigation Area (BRIA).

On Sunday we were able to see sub-surface drainage being installed at Armin Wessel's. Armin also chatted to us about how he has improved his productivity dramatically in the last 5 years.

We stopped in at MH Premium Farms where manager, Andrew Cross, discussed their farming system, showed us some machinery, including a 5 row fertiliser box. Andrew grows grains in the cane fallow, and has substantial grain storage and drying facilities.

Paul Villis kindly hosted us for a sausage sizzle lunch on Sunday and talked to us about his farming system. Paul also grows grain crops, including mung and soy beans, has his own grain header and grain storage facilities. He has also built his own liquid fertiliser machine which applied dunder sub-surface.


On Monday we had a tour of Pacific Reef Fisheries prawn farm. Wayne explained the whole process to of growing and harvesting prawns. No one had been to a prawn farm so it was really interesting. They are trialling a bioremediation facility where waste water is pumped through a system with algae which uptake the nutrients. The algae can be harvested and exported off site for a range of uses.


Our last stop was to chat with Bryan Granshaw at vantage BMS about Trimble's range of precision ag products and services. Bryan focused on Trimble's SIS (Soil Information System) product, which was really interesting especially with many of us looking to move more into precision agriculture and variable rate.

Big thanks to all the farmers, Wayne from Pacific Reef Fisheries, Bryan from Vantage BMS, Alex from Autoweed, Steve from Agritech Solutions and SRA staff for showing us around and teaching us all something new.

Farm Tour at Justin's

A group of young people involved in the agriculture industry near Proserpine have come together to form Proserpine Young Farmers (PYF). The group aims to provide a channel for under 40s involved and interested in agriculture to come together to share, learn and connect. The group has been successful in obtaining funding through the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Enhanced Extension Coordination in the GBR Project. Through this funding, the group is planning a variety of farm tours to learn about a range of different practices. We want to see how others tackle issues, come up with solutions and improve their businesses, both profitability and sustainability. This includes several tours to local farms, one tour to the Burdekin in December 2019 with a focus on automated irrigation, and one tour to the Mackay region in Autumn 2020 focusing on fallow management. We also have a range of other activities in the pipeline including pricing and marketing workshops with Wilmar, and business and succession planning workshops.


Recently the group visited PYF member, Justin Blair’s, farm. This farm is BMP accredited, growing cane on 1.8m beds with dual rows. We looked at his sprayer which he has been trialling switching nozzles on/off to allow him to band spray and blanket spray. We also viewed his bed former, wavy discs, and fertiliser box which he has installed cameras on to allow him to view the inside of the box from the tractor, and Stool Zippas to help close the slot and prevent fertiliser loss. Justin also has a range of other things happening on the farm, including having an Enviroscan capacitance probe and tensiometer installed by local productivity services, Sugar Services Proserpine, to help learn more about irrigation requirements and soil moisture. SRA, as part of the Pathways to Water Quality Improvement in the Myrtle Creek Subcatchment project, has just installed water quality samplers in one of Justin’s paddocks. Justin has applied Bobcat i-MAXX herbicide as a band spray on part of the paddock and as a blanket spray on the other part to see the difference in water quality run-off during the coming wet season. The Blair’s are also diversifying and have a native Australian fingerlime business, Myrtlevale Fingerlimes. We were lucky enough to taste test the fingerlimes as we learnt about the process they have gone through, including trialling several varieties. The group is looking forward to being involved in more activities to help improve our Knowledge and our industry. 

© 2023 by Sugar Services Proserpine. 

SRA Burdekin tour

Checking out irrigation and breeding program