BURDEKIN cane farmers Colin and Adrian Ivory say the Palaszczuk government's new Reef Regulations are only one of a number of pressures facing the industry, the most obvious being the global price of sugar. "Probably the biggest issue is the global price of sugar and the way India and Brazil are impacting on the market," Adrian Ivory said. "Subsidies have unfairly distorted the market and drag the entire industry down." On Wednesday the sugar market was A$412.43/tonne, up on recent weeks, but still below the cost of production. Colin Ivory said the dry weather had helped deliver a crop with up to 16 CCS (cane sugar content). "It's been dry, but usually a dry season makes it a good season for irrigated cane," he said. "A high CCS helps but sugar prices are the main issue." The state government's controversial new reef laws come into play from December 1, forcing farmers, graziers and agricultural advisers to significantly increase records relating to on-farm fertiliser and chemical use. Farmers in the Wet Tropics, Burdekin and Mackay-Whitsunday regions have long argued the new reef regulations are unnecessary because since 2010 they have been required to undertake mandatory soil tests to calculate the optimum amount of nitrogen and phosphorus able to be used. That is in addition to keeping records of the agricultural chemicals, fertilisers and soil conditioners applied including the amount, product analysis, date and method of application during the past five years. Under the new laws, all cane farmers must develop farm nitrogen and phosphorus budgets. In the Wet Tropics, Burdekin, and Mackay-Whitsunday regions, the laws come into play from 2021 and for the Fitzroy and Burnett-Mary regions in 2022. Growers will also be required to obtain a licence to grow cane on their own land, if that land has not been cropped for three of the previous 10 years. The Ivory's farm about 270ha of country at Maidavale, in the Burdekin's famed 'golden mile' district.