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 using 90 per…

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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 manage our…

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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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This month’s NRM tip is to help nature's workforce work for you by providing habitat.

The Cottoning on to the great outdoors: Nature's workforce booklet from CottonInfo contains information about some of the amazing flora and fauna found in our cotton communities, and how this natural workforce is providing benefits to our farms and regions.

One such 'natural worker' is the striated pardalote (pictured)- a very small short-tailed woodland bird species, which forages noisily for small insects in the tops of trees. Another is Australia’s iconic…

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This month’s NRM tip is to improve connectivity of habitat patches and corridors. Corridors of native vegetation - be it woodlands, grasslands or wetlands - and how well they are connected to other patches of native vegetation on farm or in the broader landscape are very important to fauna survival. Corridors of native vegetation facilitate the movement of fauna through the landscape which is important for genetic diversity, adaptation to climate change and also to escape and survive catastrophic events like floods, fire or droughts.

Watch a short overview of the importance of…

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For cotton irrigators creating water budgets, it is important to understand the return on a water investment. Current conditions, competition and the continued dry outlook hare resulted in the price for temporary allocation water steadily increasing.

Individual businesses should assess if the most profitable position is to be a buyer or seller in the temporary market, or to simply go about business as usual. The following example evaluates a purchase of temporary allocation to finish a cotton crop by considering the marginal return.

EXAMPLE

You have allocated…

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