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Future of sugar industry the focus of two-day Queensland conference

02 Feb 2021

The future of the Australian sugarcane industry will be the focus of a major conference in Bundaberg, Queensland, next week, including latest technology advancements set to help local farmers remain at the cutting edge of world best-practice sugarcane production.

The Case IH StepUP! Conference begins on Tuesday, February 9, the fourth time the conference has been staged, and Case IH has been the major naming sponsor since the inaugural event in 2013.

Case IH ANZ Product Manager Andrew Kissel is among the conference speakers and will be speaking about Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) and the applications for the sugarcane industry.

"Case IH has a raft of exciting new innovations within its AFS unit, with a suite of precision farming solutions designed to give farmers the means of controlling every aspect of the crop production cycle," Andrew said.

"AFS Connect is one particular aspect that allows farmers to remotely monitor and manage their farm, fleet and data, accommodating optimised performance, productivity and flexibility. With all this information at their fingertips, they can successfully manage their operations anytime, anywhere, and for cane farmers that opens up a world of exciting new possibilities.

"Sugar is the second largest export crop in Australia after wheat, and Case IH wants to help local sugar producers in any way we can when it comes to improved efficiencies and outputs."

The Case IH Step UP! Conference will be held at Bundaberg's Multiplex Sport and Convention Complex and will showcase speakers including ; Dr Nicole Thompson SRA, Andrew Chamberlin, Queensland Farmers Federation; and Andrew Phipps from Queensland Sugar Limited. Motivational speaker Sam Bailey, who was just 19 when he became a quadriplegic after a car accident, will open the conference.

​"The sugarcane sector has always been an important focus for the company, and we're committed to making the necessary investment in the products and innovations that will sustain this industry into the future​" - Pete McCann, General Manager Case IH ANZ

The conference, organised by Next Gen – the industry body for young sugarcane professionals – aims to encourage and support young people into a career in the sugarcane industry. The conference is a chance for both young and established farmers, millers, researchers and harvesting contractors to discuss and learn about innovation, sustainability and profitability, and encourages the transfer of knowledge between generations.

"Case IH came on board when this conference began in 2013 because we could see the value supporting such an important initiative for the sugarcane industry," said Pete McCann, Case IH General Manager, Australia and New Zealand.

"The sugarcane sector has always been an important focus for the company, and we're committed to making the necessary investment in the products and innovations that will sustain this industry into the future. StepUP 2020 provides genuine opportunities for meaningful discussion about the industry and where it's headed, and that's something we're keen to be a part of."

Gerard Puglisi, Australian Cane Farmers Association (ACFA) Director and Next Gen Officer, welcomed the ongoing sponsorship support of Case IH.

"It's a great partnership for us, knowing Case IH shares our vision for the future of agriculture in this country, and appreciates the importance of nurturing and encouraging our young people into careers within the sugar industry, and right across the ag sector."

Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to attend a field trip to a local sugarcane farm and a trade exhibition at the convention centre for the duration of the conference. The event will wrap up with a function at the Kalki Moon Distillery on Wednesday evening.


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