CottonInfo's team of Regional Extension Officers surveyed key consultants in their regions to gain insight into how they make the decision to defoliate, to maximise yield and fibre quality. Below is a snapshot of the commentary provided.

Top tips for the best results? Ensure the crop and the field are ready to defoliate. Ensure moisture and N have been run down in crop as it makes the job easier. Check your crop regularly. Watch weather forecasts closely, particularly temperature. Try to defoliate when it's warm. Use weather to your advantage (more so than… Read More

In this blog, Richard Sequeira provides information on silverleaf whitefly (SLW) and solenopsis mealybug for cotton growers in the 2017-18 season.


The TIMS committee has approved a 30-day window for the application of pyriproxifen (Admiral) to control whitefly (SLW) in all cotton growing districts/areas in Australia, beginning in the 2017-18 season:

Q: Why is a 30-day window necessary?

Pyriproxyfen (Admiral) is a cornerstone product for SLW control; it is currently under significant resistance selection pressure.  Testing by DAF researchers in 2017 found… Read More
Yield and quality can be adversely affected by periods of extreme heat (daily maximum temperatures greater than about 35ºC).High temperatures during the day or night will reduce yield by limiting the availability of assimilates to support fruit growth causing shedding of squares and young bolls and lowering the number of seeds set per boll. 

This in turn may cause crops to grow rank following the stress. Extremely hot temperatures at flowering may also cause ‘parrot beaking’ and during early boll growth may lead to boll death (sometimes called ‘cavitation’ or boll freeze). These symptoms…

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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.

Water productivity…

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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 this edition we will focus on nitrogen and water interactions, leaving insect…

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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.

“We approached the plantings in a similar…

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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. 

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A four-day fauna survey on the farm of Cotton RiverCare Champion Mark Palfreyman yielded more than 130 different species of native animals – a promising result, according to Mark.

“It’s encouraging to see such a great diversity of species on our farm, especially considering this was only a short snapshot in time,” Mark said.

“We know that there are other species here that were not spotted during the survey – some of the smaller mammals, for instance, like the narrow nosed planigale.”

The survey, part of the CRDC-supported and CottonInfo-led Cotton RiverCare project…

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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. 


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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:

Solenopsis mealybug adults are 3-4 mm long and have two characteristic dark… Read More