Prepare the crop for harvest

Cutout is when the crop ceases to produce new fruiting sites. Timing of cutout must consider opportunity for further fruit production (yield) against potential losses in fibre quality and harvesting difficulties. The ideal to attain the highest quality cotton would be to have a field with 70-80 percent mature bolls. Leaves would have matured naturally, allowing for easy defoliation.

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Manage your fibre quality

Producing a quality fibre is important - not only because Australian cotton holds a reputation of being purchased for a premium, but because the consequences of producing poor fibre quality are substantial when it comes to price and spinning. While quality needs to be managed throughout the season, during the harvest stage, fertiliser, irrigation and defoliant management are key considerations.

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Harvest and deliver quality cotton

Harvesting and delivering quality cotton not only relies on high quality cotton on the plant, but also correct harvest procedures - like the use of a properly maintained cotton picker that is set up correctly. Pre-season maintenance of the picker, plus daily set up and checks are important: as are the placement, construction, tarping and transport of modules. Quality at harvest can also be impacted by moisture and contamination. 

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Harvest safely

Harvest is a particularly busy time on farm, so the safety of growers, their families and their farm workers is criticial. All contractors and farm staff should go through a safety induction at harvest: identifying potential hazards and implementing a plan to manage the risks safely. 

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Come Clean Go Clean

Come Clean Go Clean is a simple and effective strategy to prevent your farm from pests, weeds and diseases. Managing the movement and cleanliness of machinery, farm vehicles and people within your farm will help stop the spread of these from field to field, and farm to farm. It's as simple as washing down machinery and vehicles and applying decontaminate, plus cleaning your boots and any tools you may take into the field.

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