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…

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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

CottonInfo, the Australian cotton industry’s joint extension program, has announced the appointment of a new Regional Extension Officer for the Gwydir Valley, Janelle Montgomery.

Janelle is already an important member of the CottonInfo team, having served as the CottonInfo Technical Specialist for water use efficiency since the team’s establishment in 2012.

In her new role, Janelle will provide the latest research outcomes and findings – across the full CottonInfo research topics – direct to cotton growers, consultants and the wider cotton industry in the region.

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James Quinn, Dr Mike Bange of CSIRO and Dr Janelle Montgomery of CottonInfo have put together this blog post on everything you need to know re late season irrigation management.

Late season irrigation management

Cotton crops reach peak flowering period in January – a critical time which can significantly influence final yield and fibre quality. Flowering for longer will lead to more bolls and generally higher yields. Cut-out generally occurs late January to mid February when the plant reaches 4-5 nodes above white flower (NAWF).

James Quinn, CSD says…

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Families in the Border Rivers region recently enjoyed a family wildlife discovery and spotlight evening at ‘Taraba’ near Toobeah, hosted by Cotton Rivercare Champion, Mark Palfreyman.

Cotton RiverCare program manager and CottonInfo technical specialist for natural resources, Stacey Vogel, said some 30 local people attended the event - held on Friday, 21 October. 

“The evening gave attendees an opportunity to get up close to animals they normally wouldn’t see – like microbats, the pale-headed snake and the Macquarie turtle,” Stacey said.  

Ecologist Phil…

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