Sustainability helps us manage what matters on our farms, and what matters to the people who buy our cotton products.

‘Sustainability’ is something that means different things to different people.

So let’s be clear up front why the Australian cotton industry is taking sustainability so seriously.

One of the reasons is that customers and other stakeholders are increasingly asking for evidence of sustainability performance. It makes sense to respond to that demand by showing the industry has a good story in many areas, and is working hard to improve in others.

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AgEcon economists George Revell and Janine Powell outline the key variability of the cotton gross margin and consider a likely range for the 2020-21 cotton season.

CottonInfo and AgEcon have developed a suite of gross margins (GM) to provide an indication of the costs and revenues for growing 'best practice' cotton in a given season.

Actual costs vary from farm to farm, valley to valley and season to season depending on a range of agronomic and seasonal factors. Variations in any of the underlying variables, whether revenue or costs, will flow through to increase or decrease the…

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At the heart of IPM is the conservation of natural enemies. A key tactic in conserving natural enemies is making well-informed and rational pest management decisions supported by good sampling, valid control thresholds and knowledge of beneficial pests present in your crop. Well-informed and rational IPM decisions provide the best opportunity to reduce the overall need to spray, and hence help conserve beneficial species such as predatory insects, spiders, bats and birds.

Natural enemies suppress populations of a wide range of insect pests, helping reduce the potential…

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A new partnership between iconic Australian brands Country Road and Landcare Australia is set to improve biodiversity on cotton farms, with support from CRDC, Cotton Australia and CottonInfo. 

Funded by a corporate contribution and funds raised via the sale of its famous Verified Australian Cotton Heritage Sweats, Country Road will contribute a minimum $600,000 to the partnership over three years, with funds raised going to Landcare Australia to support biodiversity restoration projects.

The partnership draws on CRDC-supported work that mapped biodiversity in…

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This article applies what we have learnt about cotton growth and development in the CQ environment and look at what to expect once the decision is made to grow the crop on.

(Whether or not a field should be retained vs abandoned will not be covered here, as crop insurance and a range of other factors will affect that decision-making process when significant damage has been sustained.)

Hail damage will vary from minor leaf and terminal shoot damage through to extensive canopy destruction, including stem and fruit loss. The highest impact of this damage is likely to occur…

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1. Be prepared for increased pest activity, particularly aphids.

Pest activity has been relatively subdued in recent seasons due to reduced cotton acreage and a very dry surrounding landscape. Although the cotton area for 2020-21 is well down on previous seasons, increased rainfall will see major changes in the surrounding landscape that will in turn influence pest populations that will affect crops now and in future seasons.

With increasing rainfall, aphids are a pest to be on the lookout for. Whilst aphids have been infrequent pests for several seasons, their rapid…

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1. Keep an eye out for fall armyworm.

With fall armyworm (FAW) detections throughout Queensland and well into NSW, many agronomists are taking a closer look at the caterpillars they come across in different crops. Importantly, please note that FAW have not been detected in in any cotton crops (either Bollgard® 3 or unsprayed non-Bt cotton refuges) grown over the last 7 months in Northern Australia.

Host preference field studies conducted by Dr Brian Thistleton and his team at the Department of Primary Industries and Resources in the NT also found no evidence for FAW moths…

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If it can move, it can carry pests, weeds and diseases. For this reason, it is important to communicate your biosecurity requirements to all people entering farms. Never assume people know the biosecurity measures you have in place for your farm.

There are a number of ways you can communicate your biosecurity requirements, including:

Limit the entry points to access the farm. Reducing entry points allows you to record all vehicle movements and know who is on farm.
  Use biosecurity signs at farm entry points. Ensure your biosecurity signs are… Read More

Recent research has looked at the impacts of early season water deficits on fruit production, fruit retention, boll distribution, seed and lint yield in high retention Bollgard ll variety Sicot 71BR cotton.

Experiments were conducted over two seasons (2006-07 and 2007-08) at the Gatton Campus of the University of Queensland. The research consisted of four experiments which had different planting dates, area, rainfall and irrigations after the stress period.

All four experiments consisted of three different water treatment scenarios which included:

irrigation (… Read More

Roundup Ready® cotton has been grown in Australia since 2002 and since then glyphosate has become a firm favourite: a bit like your footy team, biscuit, or car.

Glyphosate is a once-in-a-generation herbicide - we are unlikely to see a more robust product with this longevity ever again.

But its great strength has also become its greatest weakness! Growers have had so much success controlling problem weeds with glyphosate that they have reduced the use of other modes of action, especially in non-crop areas around the farm. Repeated application of glyphosate along fence lines…

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