Cotton RiverCare is a program that promotes and supports responsible management of riverine areas within cotton growing regions of Australia. In this blog post, cotton grower Mark Palfreyman talks water rats! 

We are all very excited as we recently had the pleasure of seeing a 'rakali' or water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) on our farm. We have been trying to get this photo for a few days but he is well camouflaged against the debris in the river and is a very fast swimmer! Cute little guy, my wife and the kids named him Templeton.

These rats …

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A zoology degree is not a traditional qualification for a cotton grower, but for Southern QLD grower Mark Palfreyman it provides an ideal grounding for his new role as national Cotton RiverCare champion.

The role forms part of the newly launched Cotton RiverCare program, which aims to support the responsible management of riverine areas within Australia’s cotton growing regions.

Under the program, cotton growers and the wider cotton community can follow the progress of Mark and his family as they care for their farm and its natural environment; including discovering what…

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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.

Aquatic ecologist Dr Harry Balcombe informed participants about the indicators for healthy rivers…

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CottonInfo, the Australian cotton industry’s joint extension program, has announced that a new Regional Development Officer, Annabel Twine, will be joining the team.

Annabel will provide the latest research outcomes and findings direct to cotton growers, consultants and the wider cotton industry in the Darling Downs.

Annabel brings extensive experience to the CottonInfo team, having worked in agriculture for twenty years, including six years with Queensland Cotton and 13 years with Bayer CropScience covering the Downs and the McIntyre and Balonne Valleys.

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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…

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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.

AgriRisk High Achiever of the Year,…

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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.

Mr Brimblecombe (pictured) has also explored the economics of floating solar panels for any future expansion of his solar capacity.


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Gunnedah farmer Scott Morgan (pictured) has slashed the amount of money he spends on electricity used to irrigate cotton on his property, “Kensal Green”, by investing in solar and by reducing the amount of energy he uses to pump water for his crops.

In a program which started five years ago, Mr Morgan has installed a travelling irrigator fed by a two-kilometre pipeline which has eliminated the need for two lift pumps, replaced a fixed-speed pump with a variable-speed unit on one of his two bores, and installed a 9.6kW solar array.

“I initially began investigating ways to…

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Amanda Thomas, CottonInfo regional development officer for the Macquarie Valley writes:

Almost 20 years ago, the Macquarie Cotton Growers Association, in conjunction with the Narromine and Warren Shire Councils and the NSW DPI Fisheries began the annual release of fingerlings into the Macquarie River, to help build the population of native fish.

20 years later and the annual release is still taking place, marked by a considerable improvement in the numbers of native fish. Each year around the same time, we alternate putting in Murray Cod and Golden…

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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.  

The ERF is the federal government’s centrepiece for emissions reduction, and will be used to purchase lowest cost abatement. Participation in the ERF is voluntary and open to everyone. Interested parties must establish a project which must follow…

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