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TESS Seminar- How a spoonful of sugar makes the water quality go down, and delightful mitigation options

When Feb 22, 2017
from 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where D3.054 Cairns Institute, 145.030 Townsville ATSIP
Contact Name
Contact Phone 07 4232 1427
Attendees All welcome
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Tony Webster

AbstractTony Webster

The Great Barrier Reef is an extraordinarily important natural asset that also generates significant economic benefit to Australia. At present, the condition of the Reef system varies, with many areas far from pristine. The Reef faces a number of ongoing anthropogenic threats, including but not limited to pollutant loads above ‘natural’ flows. Of these pollutant loads, dissolved inorganic nitrogen, sediment and pesticides are primarily sourced from agricultural runoff. The Australian and Queensland Governments have created targets for reduction of these pollutants, and are providing mechanisms to help farmers reduce losses. Sugarcane is grown on 380,000 ha in Great Barrier Reef catchments. Sugarcane is a high nitrogen input crop, and reductions of nitrogen lost from sugarcane are needed to meet the set targets. This seminar will discuss the issue of nitrogen losses from agriculture to the Great Barrier Reef catchment, as well as the array of new technologies that are being researched and implemented to lower losses of nitrogen from sugarcane. 


Tony Webster is a research agronomist with CSIRO based in Cairns. Tony has 20 years’ experience working in tropical cropping agronomy with a focus on plant nutrition. Much of this time has included work with sugarcane in the Wet Tropics and Burdekin regions focussing on nitrogen management and reducing nitrogen losses. 

Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Sciences

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