Pima cotton trials expanded

05 October, 2005

___Pima type cotton, which generally attracts premium prices due to its more desirable fibre characteristics such as longer length and greater strength, is being trialled by more growers as an alternative to traditional upland cotton varieties._

Trials are planned in the Moree region, where approximately 350 ha of Pima cotton is being trialled this season, according to CSD extension and development agronomists, James Quinn and David Kelly. Growers around St George and in Central Queensland have also expressed interest.

While Pima cotton has been grown in Australia for many seasons, mainly in the Bourke, Lachlan and Tandou regions, its uptake and spread has been limited due to its susceptibility to disease, quality downgrading at picking with rain in March/April, and the need for special ginning and marketing arrangements.

Pictured: Tony Cush ""Bloomvale"" and farm manager Sandy Belfield look over the ‘Growing Pima Booklet’ while planting their first Pima crop.

James Quinn said the catalysts for renewed interest in Pima cotton, which is more suited to the hotter growing regions, are subdued prices for upland cotton, increased fibre quality penalties, and prospects for new locally-adapted Pima varieties being developed by CSIRO, with improved yield and disease resistance packages.

“Pima cotton has been lower yielding, requires additional production costs and watering requirements (longer season), and also lacks a futures market option to spread trading risks,” James Quinn said.

To cater for the widening interest in Pima cotton, CSD has produced a special booklet on “Growing Pima Cotton.”

David Kelly said the booklet was developed by the CSD extension and development team in consultation with CSIRO seed breeders, pathologists and industry researchers, in conjunction with Australian Pima cotton growers and consultant, and Arizona Cotton Extension Specialists.

“While it is not a recipe for the production of Pima cotton, it does provide n__ew growers with an information source covering all aspects of the production of this type of cotton.

“It covers Pima production from planting through to ginning, and contains a digest of up-to-date knowledge and practical information from a variety of sources to assist growers with Pima management and marketing,” he said.

Copies are available from CSD by phoning 02 6795 0000, by faxing CSD on 02 67954 966, or by ""clicking"" on the graphic, right.

_Further Information: _Robert Eveleigh, John Marshall, Craig McDonald, David Kelly or James Quinn