By Allergen Bureau

Crop Rotation of Australian Sugar Cane

In our recent Assessing Agricultural Cross Contact webinar a member asked us a great question – is there a possible risk of cross contact with crop rotation in Australian sugar? With further investigation, we were able to find out via Sugar Research Australia (SRA) that other crops can be grown in rotation with sugarcane, used to break the sugarcane monoculture, with proven environmental and productivity benefits. A farming system that incorporates complementary crops will have significant impacts on the soil physical, chemical, and biological health.

According to SRA, some farmers choose to grow rotation crops that generate income with complementary crops – those that use the same land as cane crops – grown within a cane farming system. Some crops have a short growing season and are grown in the traditional fallow period of sugarcane. Other crops provide a full season break and yet others occupy the land permanently, not producing an income for four to 10 years. Complimentary crops may include grains, legumes, peanuts, beans, soybeans, kenaf, industrial hemp, and many different seasonal fruit and vegetables.

This is a great example of how coming together as an industry and asking questions via webinars and forums can enlighten us all, including us at the Allergen Bureau. This also provides us with another real-life reason as to why it is important to assess agricultural cross contact risks regularly, as the answers may have changed.

Find out more about crop rotation here

You can also download the Assessing Agricultural Cross Contact 2022 Guide here