Planting Cane – The Easy Way

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One of the best things about life on the road is the constantly changing view outside your window.

For a couple of months in mid winter 2013, we stayed with friends living on a cane farm near Halifax, NQ. His farm house is in a sea of cane. When we arrived in June, one large paddock beside the house had already been cut. This year the cane was to replanted. The farmers spent days ripping the old cane, turning, adding fertiliser, flattening the paddock preparing it for planting.

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Early one beautiful Sunday morning, the planting

Coming from Mackay where cane farming is the main agriculture, Dean and I were interested to see that they were not stick planting. In the ‘olden days’ and sometimesnew-australian-dream-planting-cane today, long sticks of cane are cut and manually fed through a planter towed behind the tractor. Slow and time consuming hard work. This was a huge paddock – it would have taken a couple of days for it to be stick planted. Instead, the contractors got it planted by early afternoon.

We watched impressed with the speed and accuracy. The driver in the planting tractor controls the tipper remotely, tipping and filling his bin until it is full. Then he lines his tractor up at the lastnew-australian-dream-planting-cane row and away it goes. The tractor digs the furrow, plants the cane and lays fertiliser over the top, then covers the cane back over creating perfect rows.

Used to seeing slow tractors plodding away down the furrow, we were amazed at the speed this one was going. And how straight his lines were! Chatting to the tipper driver, we found out they are GPS guided and its all done on auto pilot – just line it up, push the button and away it goes!  The wonders of modern technology!

And all this entertainment right outside my window.

Watch how its done.

  • Planting CaneSpina's Cane Farm - Halifax NQ

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