INDIVIDUALS and companies working to improve environmental outcomes in the Australian fertiliser industry were recognised last week when the 2022 Fertiliser Industry Environmental Awards were presented in Darwin.
The awards were presented at the Fertilizer Australia conference gala dinner by Penelope Wensley, former Queensland governor, Australian diplomat and national soils advocate.
Ms Wensley said all of the award recipients had gone above and beyond the normal course of their work to improve the environmental performance of the industry and address issues of high local, regional and national priority.
"The award recipients have undertaken work which ultimately improves nutrient use efficiency, minimises nutrient loss and benefits the environment, stretching from the Great Barrier Reef to the estuaries in south western Western Australia and beyond," Ms Wensley said.
Fertilizer Australia executive manager Stephen Annells said the awards were designed to showcase the work being undertaken at all levels within the industry to drive environmental progress and outcomes.
"Three awards were presented this year - the Fertiliser Industry Platypus Environmental Award for companies whose fertiliser turnover was more than $100 million in 2021, the Fertiliser Industry Kookaburra Environmental Award for companies with a turnover under $100m, and the Fertiliser Industry Snapper Environmental Award open to individuals or small teams," Mr Annells said.
"We were thrilled with the calibre of entries and stewardship shown across the sector."
CSBP Fertilisers was awarded the Fertiliser Industry Platypus Environmental Award for its participation in the uPtake project in WA.
uPtake is a partnership project designed to improve nutrient use effi ciency on grazing farms in the South West by improving farmer and industry knowledge, confidence and uptake of the science supporting fertiliser recommendations.
It is a four-year project led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), supported by a technical reference group.
The involvement of CSBP in uPtake has been significant - CSBP's trials and research capability set were leveraged to support the design and implementation of plot trials and its agronomic capability supported and informed project data synthesis and extension activities.
North Queensland liquid fertiliser company, LiquaForce, was awarded the Fertiliser Industry Kookaburra Environmental Award for its dedication to improving the efficiencies of fertiliser use in sugarcane through enhanced efficiency fertiliser (EEF) product improvements, improved application processes and through its investment in new technologies to improve the knowledge base that informs fertiliser application rates and practices.
This three-tiered approach is driving a significant shift in the sugar cane farming industry's use of fertilisers, which is leading to productivity and profitability improvements onfarm and water quality improvements in key Great Barrier Reef catchments.
Cameron Gourley and David Weaver were awarded the Fertiliser Industry Snapper Environmental Award for their development of the national standards for soil testing for Australian agriculture: 'A guide for fi t for purpose soil sampling'.
Dr Gourley is a senior soil scientist who manages Soil Water and Nutrients Consulting, and Mr Weaver is a principal research scientist with DPIRD.
Together, they developed the guide in their own time, motivated by a deep understanding of the importance of accurate and consistent soil sample collection and an ongoing commitment to improving the quality and standards of nutrient management advice and practice in Australia and globally.
The guide has been widely adopted since its publication in late-2019 and incorporated as the soil sampling standard in all key agricultural sectors, including grains, horticulture, dairy, meat, and wool, as well as fertiliser companies and soil test laboratories throughout Australia.
The judging panel for this year's awards comprised Warren Wick, from Environment Department; Stephan Titze, Fertilizer Australia chairman and Incitec Pivot Fertilisers president and Stephen Annells, Fertilizer Australia executive manager.
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