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Kayak trips reinforce important message about river health

More than 100 people took part in four kayak trips in North West NSW in November to learn about riverine health and how to keep local rivers and riparian areas healthy.

The trips were hosted by CottonInfo on rivers at Moree, Mungindi and Boggabilla, to help raise awareness of the importance of native vegetation and its management.

CottonInfo’s natural resource technical specialist, Stacey Vogel, coordinated the events, which also featured two ecologists.

Climate Risk Management: Making decisions and dealing with imperfect information

by CottonInfo climate, energy and carbon technical specialist Jon Welsh.

Evaluating and interpreting layers of climate information, weather acronyms and colour charts at key decision making times can be a daunting prospect. Some growers have their favourite weather sites on which they base their decisions, while others prefer to watch for a flock of black cockatoos on the wing or a cactus flowering to see if rain is coming. Others only believe forecast rain when the gutters are running water. Those that have been burnt by a forecast in the planning stage have an inherent distrust in weather predictive systems.

Solar the hot topic at cotton Big Day Outs

Alternative and renewable energy sources, including solar for powering cotton production, were hot topics at this week’s (24 and 25 February) CottonInfo Big Days Out at St George, QLD and Gunnedah, NSW.

The days attracted 60 and 80 participants respectively and visitors were keen to hear from experienced growers, energy researchers, auditors, consultants and system providers.

Ian and Anne Brimblecombe hosted the first day at their St George farm, “Burgorah”, while day two was on Scott Morgan’s property “Kensal Green”, Gunnedah.

Rising costs, climate change prompt shift to solar

An energy expenditure that had been climbing by around 10 per cent per year coupled with concerns about climate change have prompted St George cotton irrigators Ian and Anne Brimblecombe, “Burgorah”, to install solar panels which generate 100kW of electricity.

Their 400 250-watt solar panels will soon be joined by a supplementary bank of panels which will enable a 70kW fixed-speed pump to be powered by solar alone on sunny days.

Emissions Reduction Fund: ‘fertiliser efficiency in irrigated cotton’ method

The Department of Environment has been busy over the last year making new greenhouse gas emissions reduction methods available for use under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). A number of these are designed to benefit the farming sector, including a ‘fertiliser efficiency in irrigated cotton’ method released in December 2014.  

Water running short? How do we manage our irrigations?

When water is limited growers may need to change from their normal irrigation practice to optimise yield, quality and water use efficiency. As with fully irrigated production, the aim is to limit or minimise the amount of stress on the crop. Cotton’s response to water stress depends on the stage of growth that stress occurs, the degree of stress and the length of time the stress is present.

Late season irrigation management

Many crops, particularly in the northern regions, are fast approaching cutout. Cutout occurs when the plant has 4-5 nodes above white flower (NAWF) and generally occurs late January to mid February. This is the time of the last effective flower which can be used to plan irrigations after cutout.  End of season water requirements can be determined by estimating the number of days until defoliation and predicting the amount of water likely to be used over this period.

Last effective flower and cut out dates

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