Successful Dryland Cotton Tour

15 September, 2006

Close to 100 cotton growers, consultants and industry personnel attended CSD’s recent series of Dryland Cotton Information meetings held at Bellata, Moree, Goondiwindi and Dalby.

CSD extension and development agronomist in the Border Rivers region, David Kelly, said that whilst the cotton price and soil moisture situations are not at their most optimistic at the moment, these ingredients have improved very quickly in the past, and could easily do so again.

Fellow CSD agronomist in the Gwydir region, James Quinn, said new Bollgard® II and Roundup Ready® technologies have opened more options for growers to explore. Combining these with varying row configurations, now made easier with application of GPS technology, is making profitable production a reality in areas where dryland cotton would previously have been considered a high-risk option.

John Marshall, CSD agronomist covering most of Queensland said the big challenge for dryland growers has been the lifting of the base grade staple length from 35 32nds/inch to 36 32nds/inch.

“However, with the combination of variety selection and manipulation of row spacing, we’ve seen plenty of instances where growers have been able to successfully reach this new base grade.”

A number of merchants also addressed the dryland forums, outlining marketing options for growers, and providing insight into the direction that cotton prices might go.

Simon Fritsch, an agricultural consultant from Agripath, presented benchmarking information on how dryland cotton compares to grain sorghum as a summer crop option.

“Whilst grain prices are good and cotton prices are low, there is not too much between them, but the topside is that with good yields, good prices or a combination of those two, cotton is well in front.”

*Further information: *

David Kelly 0428 950 021

James Quinn 0428 950 028

John Marshall 0428 950 010