2019 CSD Cotton Management Tour – options in a dry year

17 May, 2019

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The 2019 CSD Cotton Management Tour (CMT) is on its way again. This year the CSD Extension & Development (E&D) team kick off in Emerald on the 12th of June and then head south in July. Details on the tour dates can be found at www.csd.net.au/events

With the current dry conditions the CMT will have a focus on growing cotton under dry/limited water situations, as well as looking into the problems that stress played on crop development this season. The E&D team will be discussing the pros and cons of skip row configuration and the performance of varieties under different growing situations. With the launch last year of the new Industry Support Program (formerly the Dryland Production Protection Package), growers will be updated on how they can make sure they get the full benefit of this program. The 2018-19 season saw a strong uptake of Industry Support Program, with 144 growers registered.

The CMT will also look at what was learned this season, including the challenges Verticillium wilt, Black root rot and sticky cotton; as well as issues that contributed to issues with fibre quality and yield. The E&D team will also reflect on the last of three new varieties that contain Bollgard® 3 – and how their performance will surprise, with a better fit for growers in some of the shorter growing areas as well as a tighter, more compact variety that may have a better fit for narrower row spacing. Each meeting will include a focus on selecting varieties to fit each specific environment and production type.

The E&D team have been busy collating data that goes into their Genetics x Environment x Management (GEM) program. This year at the CMT we will see the results of all this coming together and a showcase of the results from the machine learning program with the release of the new crop management app. This program was introduced last year to demonstrate how all the data collected through the CSD Ambassador Network Program goes into looking at how growers and agronomists can get the most out of our elite Australian varieties. The crop management app will aid in the decision making process at a local level, and will enable growers and agronomists to play out a “what if” scenario and see what effects these factors will have towards yield at a local level.

Key industry researchers will also be contributing to the CMT this year, helping growers and agronomists understand the complex issues that the environment can play on the performance of varieties.

In 2018, growers were introduced to the new seed treatment from Syngenta, and at this year’s CMT, Vibrance CST will be officially released to the industry. VibranceTM CST has been developed through the FastStart R&D initiative between CSD and Syngenta, and provides further choice to Australian cotton growers in terms of fungicide seed treatments.

The CMT will also share insights from the winners of the 2018 FastStart Cotton Establishment Awards, who have won a trip to Kununurra and Broome later this year. The E&D team will be sharing case studies on how these growers achieved their winning establishment scores, to give other growers an insight on how they could be in the running in the 2019 awards.

Finally, the team will provide an update on changes to CSD’s membership benefits, and how we are continually striving to deliver practical and valuable information to our the Australian cotton industry.

We hope to see you there!

By Jorian Millyard, CSD Extension & Development Manager – NSW