Roundup Ready Cotton Versatility Explored

03 December, 2002

___In conjunction with key growers on the Darling Downs, Cotton Seed Distributors is evaluating the potential for Roundup Ready cotton in a number of new roles in production systems._

John Marshall, CSD extension and development agronomist based in Dalby, said RR cotton was being trialled as a tool in alleviating fusarium; as a means of achieving earliness; and in minimum tillage situations.

At Harley Bligh’s Condamine Plains farm, a commercial-scale trial is underway in a fusarium field.

The field contains various trial combinations: with/without preplant and at-planting herbicides and early interrow cultivation, being ranked for effect on development and severity of the disease.

Roundup Ready technology has been used for the base level early weed control in the field.

Glen Fresser has been investigating ways of achieving earliness in his production system. Last season he trialled Ultra Narrow
Row cotton which, while giving earliness and satisfactory yields, created some long term concerns in regard to picking, ginning and quality considerations.

This season, again using Roundup Ready technology, he is looking at a twin-row configuration and higher plant populations as a potential tool for obtaining earliness, while still allowing him to use spindle pickers, maintain higher turnout, and minimise quality discounts.

Roundup Ready cotton has provided Geoff Hewitt with the opportunity to plant a crop into a field of millet last season, with minimal land preparation and excellent control of volunteers obtained subsequent to watering up the cotton.

In years of unreliable water, the ability to be able to change strategies, and modify cropping options at short notice, is an important management tool.

John Marshall said that while Roundup Ready cotton offers new possibilities in weed control and cropping options, it does create additional management complications.

Control of RR cotton in back-to-back fields, in fallow and along tail drains, will require modification of weed control practices that have become fairly standard over a number of years.

“Not only will the current year’s RR cotton fields require good signage, but also the previous year’s field’s as well, to overcome potential management problems,” John Marshall said.

Further Information: *"Robert Eveleigh**, John Marshall, Greg Kauter or Craig McDonald":showstaff.asp?staff=1