A PROGRAM to improve water quality and on-farm practices is stimulating change among Queensland cane farmers.
Project Catalyst is the result of a partnership between Reef Catchments, WWF and the Coca-Cola Foundation to work with farmers to reduce the impact of pollution on the Great Barrier Reef.
Joe Muscat is one of more than 70 cane farmers who have reaped the rewards of being involved in Project Catalyst.
Mr Muscat, who is a former Nuffield Scholarship recipient, and his son Steven farm 300 hectares, 30 kilometres south west of Mackay.
Close to 12 years ago they started rotating legumes into their farming system to improve soil crops.
Mr Muscat said they working making major inroads into their production system as a result. Prior to using rotational crops, they had organic carbon levels as low as 0.4 per cent; today their organic carbon is close to reaching 1pc.
He said Project Catalyst had enabled growers to look at improving the status quo and best practice was not a fixed thing, it was a moving feast.
"When you bring like-minded growers together it's a very powerful tool," he said.
"Each person builds on another person's ideas and concepts, so very quickly you can change some practices."