09 May, 2017
Cotton Seed Distributors are proud to be announced as a finalist in the 2017 Australian Cotton Industry Awards.
Nominated in both the Monsanto Grower of the Year and Agririsk High Achiever of the Year categories, CSD Farms is a unique agribusiness with three principle functions – early generation seed increase, cotton crop research and technology demonstration.
CSD Farms Manager, Mark Cathcart today hosted the Cotton Awards judging panel as part of the on-farm judging process, where finalists are assessed on their contributions to the cotton industry across a wide range of areas, including farming best practice, research and development, innovation, leadership and industry advocacy.
A cotton grower for over thirty years, Mark Cathcart currently manages the 260 hectares of irrigated cotton on CSD Farms, near Wee Waa in northern NSW. Mark and his team take the breeder seed provided by CSIRO and over successive years screen and produce volumes of potential varieties which can then be grown out by commercial seed growing partners.
Mark and his team are also responsible for conducting a vast array of trials including screening of new varieties for diseases such as verticillium, crop spacing and row configuration for dryland and irrigated systems, irrigation technologies, crop nutrition, seed treatments as well as new biotechnologies.
To achieve the highest possible seed quality as well as commercially acceptable lint yields, Mark undertakes an extensive soil testing program annually to determine soil needs, depletion and remediation. Cereal and pulse rotation cropping is critical in maintaining soil health and seed crop quality, so retention of crop stubble has enabled him to improve soil health, also improving water use efficiency.
Where possible, he also employs a minimal approach to insecticide application in order to encourage early season beneficial insects. Mark routinely achieves an evenness of maturity across the crop to produce the most consistent, highest quality seed and commercially acceptable lint yields.
The winners of the Australian Cotton Industry Awards will be announced on 26 July 2017, as part of the biennial Australian Cotton Collective held at Griffith, NSW.
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