28 March, 2018
As the 2017 early planted cotton crops in Central Queensland move from the paddock into the gin yards, results are emerging from the season which, in a similar fashion to last season, are very pleasing for many growers. 2017/18 is the second season where a more flexible planting window has been made possible due to a revamped Resistance Management Plan (RMP), following the introduction of a number of new varieties containing Bollgard®3 technology.
As the bales pile up outside cotton gins in Emerald and Moura, reports of yields ranging from 11 to 14 bales/ha have been frequent. Considering that short fallow rotations, double cropping and back to back cotton fields are quite common in Central Queensland, these yields are particularly remarkable, demonstrating the potential of cotton in this region, where the seasonal conditions are optimal and wet weather doesn’t impact defoliation or picking.
CSD had three early planted, irrigated variety trials in Central Queensland this year, with locations at Emerald, Springsure and Theodore. These trials are also a part of the CSD Ambassador Network and have been intensively monitored, with large amounts of plant data collected throughout the season. To add to the extensive program throughout the industry, there have also been a number of late planted trials (both irrigated and dryland), Ambassador sites and agronomic trials (such as seed treatment trials) located across the Central Queensland region.
Two of the early planted trials in Central Queensland (Emerald East and Springsure) have already been picked and ginned. The early September planted trial at Theodore was unfortunately delayed by some very wet weather following its first defoliation, however it seems to have recovered well in recent weeks and is due to be picked imminently. Results from the Springsure trial were quite good, with yields of around 11 bales/ha or better across the five varieties grown there this season. A good result, considering the trial had a tough start in very early August and was replanted later in the month.
The Emerald East trial, grown on Cowal Agriculture’s ‘Brayland’ also fared very well throughout the season and has produced outstanding results, which include the highest ever yield for a CSD variety trial grown in Central Queensland. This season, all five of the commercially available varieties containing Bollgard® 3 technology were included in the trial and they have all yielded above 12 bales/ha. In particular, the standout variety was Sicot 714B3F, which yielded 13.4 bales/ha. This is the second season in a row where Sicot 714B3F has topped the Emerald East trial and at almost 0.8 bales/ha in front of the next placed Sicot 746B3F. This variety is likely to be a very popular choice for the early August plant again next season as it has now averaged over 13 bales/ha for the last two seasons in this trial and seems to have found a very good fit in this scenario.
Yield results for the recently picked Emerald East trial are now available on the CSD website, where more trials will be added as they are completed. Interest will now turn to the quality data from the trial, which will be obtained in the coming weeks after classing of the samples through ACS in Wee Waa, as per CSD’s trial protocols. These results will also be added to the website as they are received.
By Sam Lee, Extension & Development Agronomist – Queensland.