With the 2020-21 season approaching, now's the time to be undertaking preseason planning to reflect and consider strategies on how to manage pests and beneficials.

Integrated pest management (IPM) uses knowledge of pest biology, behaviour and ecology to implement a range of integrated tactics to supress and reduce pest outbreaks and reliance on insecticides for their management. IPM supports the long-term management of pests, maintains profitability, reduces the risk of insecticide resistance and minimises risks to human health and the environment.

At the heart of IPM…

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Endemic diseases such as Verticillium and Black root rot can inhibit production and be costly for growers and consultants. Integrated disease management (IDM) strategies are important for controlling and reducing the impact diseases can have on farm. In back-to-back cotton fields, the disease risks are higher, increasing the importance of using a range of IDM strategies such as planting resistant varieties.

The development of resistant varieties has been a prominent method for managing major cotton diseases including Fusarium wilt. The industry has developed a ranking system (F…

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Your farm. Your biosecurity risks. Your farm biosecurity plan.

The best defence against unwanted pests, weeds and diseases is to implement on-farm biosecurity practices. Simple measures and practices built into everyday routines can help protect your farm from the introduction and spread of these pests. Developing a farm biosecurity plan helps growers assess the likelihood of how pests, weeds and diseases could potentially be introduced or spread on farm and decide on the appropriate measures to minimise these risks.

In its essence, a farm biosecurity plan is a self-…

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This season, three of the CottonInfo REOs decided to do a deep dive in the life cycle of the silverleaf whitefly (SLW). Andrew McKay (Border Rivers) , Janelle Montgomery (Gwydir, Mungindi) and Amanda Thomas (Macquarie Valley) donned the white lab coats and pulled in some expert advice from Dr Jamie Hopkinson of QDAF fame. A wise man (Dr Robert Mensah) once said to find the insect, you must think like the insect. With that in mind, the three intrepid explorers headed out into the fields in search of SLW populations...

Given that this particular insect is very small and pretty fast…

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Farm hygiene is at the heart of pest and disease management, but it's one of the most under-rated tactics. Maintaining a farm that is free of weeds including volunteer and ratoon cotton plants breaks the green bridge needed for pests and pathogens to overwinter until the following season. These unwanted plants provide a starting population for pests to move quickly into the next crop the following season and increase the chances of pest outbreaks.

Volunteer and ratoon cotton plants can also act as a reservoir for plant viruses such as cotton bunchy top (CBT). Cotton bunchy…

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Ensure all vehicles, machinery and equipment arriving onto your property are mud and trash free. 

Come Clean. Go Clean is one of the simplest yet most effective ways of minimising the spread of weeds, diseases and pests. With the increased prevalence of glyphosate resistant weeds and the constant threat of pests and diseases, it is important to ensure that all machinery, vehicles and equipment arriving on and leaving farm are mud and trash free.

Mud and trash on vehicles and machinery is one of the easiest ways for weed seeds, pathogens and pests such as mealybugs…

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Precision spray technologies - what the?

In simple terms, precision spray technologies means using optical cameras and sensors to identify individual weeds or patches within fields and applying high rates of herbicide to prevent seed set.

Initially this technology was used primarily in fallow fields to clean up patches of weeds that escaped summer fallow sprays. Growers who have adopted this technology are reporting savings of up to 90 per cent on their herbicide costs as they are only spraying 10-15 per cent of the field. Therefore, this also means they are…

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Have you been to a cotton catch-up in your valley lately? 

The purpose of the catch-ups is to provide an opportunity for growers and agronomists to gain a better understanding of IPM issues and the pests and beneficial insects that people are seeing in fields, and discuss management options being implemented or considered.

One of the big drivers for the renewal in these cotton catch-ups (previously known as area wide management meetings) is the increasing levels of insecticide resistance in pests such as silverleaf whitefly (SLW). Many insects,…

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2020 is the UN's International Year of Plant Health. So, each month this year, our Technical Lead for Biosecurity, Sharna Holman, will be bringing you her top tips for your plant health.

For January this tip is: Monitor, manage, report.

Australia’s biosecurity system helps protect us from exotic plant pests and pathogens, however there is always the possibility that exotic pests will enter the country and reach our second line of defence – us.

Exotic plant pests and diseases can reduce yields and profitability, affect our environment or change the way we…

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December brings to a close the year-long program of NRM top tips, in alignment with our 2019 CottonInfo cotton calendar. So, in this month's blog, CottonInfo Technical Lead for Natural Resources Stacey Vogel, shares with you her top 12 cotton industry examples of good biodiversity stewardship.

1.

For the past 20 years, the Macquarie Cotton Growers Association, in partnership with Narromine and Warren Shire Councils and NSW DPI Fisheries, have been undertaking fingerling (young native fish) releases to help restore native fish populations within the Macquarie River.

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