Cotton growers are invited to participate in a water productivity benchmarking study, from the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Agriculture Division, over the 2017-18 season.
The 2017-18 survey, which is delivered with support from the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC), follows on from similar surveys in 2006-07, 2008-09 and 2012-13, which found that the cotton industry has achieved a 40 per cent increase in water productivity since the study conducted by Tennakoon and Milroy (2003) (0.79 bales per megalitre) 10 years earlier.
by QDAF researcher, Dr Paul Grundy:
There are a number of things to consider for nitrogen, first irrigation and pest management that will have an important bearing on crop development and yield potential in the CQ environment. The way in which these factors interact depends on the weather both leading up to and after operations take place. Critically these interactions vary significantly depending on whether a crop is sown early (August to early Sept) or late (late November and December).
In 2001, in partnership with Greening Australia and the Australian Government's Envirofund, cotton growers Geoff and Ally O'Neill planted eight hectares of native trees and shrubs on their cotton property “Lllano” near Bald Hill.
“We wanted to increase the biodiversity on our farm as well as provide a windbreak,” Geoff said. “Fifteen years later we definitely see more birds and lizards and feel the corridors are contributing to natural pest control.”
Before planting the corridors, Geoff fallowed the area for 18 months.
CRDC has recently jumped on board as a sponsor of WeedSmart. In this WeedSmart podcast, hear from CottonInfo’s Regional Extension Officer Annabel Twine and Tech Specialist Eric Koetz re a cotton weed management update.
CottonInfo REO Amanda Thomas blogs about the 'Cottoning on to the Macquarie' NRM field day, held on Saturday 4 March:
The field day was a collaboration between CottonInfo, the Australian Government and Central West Local Land Services. We had the 40 spots in the kayaks snapped up by the cotton growers and their families. Stacey Vogel, the Natural Resource Management Technical Specialist on the CottonInfo team, has run many of these successful days across the cotton industry. All I had to do was get the message out the growers who jumped at the opportunity.
With Solenopsis mealybug widespread throughout QLD and confirmed in WA, NT and VIC, and mostly recently in the Macintyre valley, growers and consultants are encouraged to remain vigilant in monitoring for this pest.
Please note: all new or unusual detections of mealybug need to be reported. In NSW, call the Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. In QLD, call DAF on 13 25 23.
What to look for:
Growers and consultants are encouraged to keep an eye out for mealybug and mealybug hot spots:
CottonInfo, the Australian cotton industry’s joint extension program, has announced the appointment of a new Regional Extension Officer for the Gwydir Valley, Janelle Montgomery.
Janelle is already an important member of the CottonInfo team, having served as the CottonInfo Technical Specialist for water use efficiency since the team’s establishment in 2012.
James Quinn, Dr Mike Bange of CSIRO and Dr Janelle Montgomery of CottonInfo have put together this blog post on everything you need to know re late season irrigation management.