New Cotton Variety For 2009-10 Season Looks Impressive

02 February, 2009

Cotton Seed Distributors has announced that the new CSIRO-bred cotton variety, Sicot 71BRF, which will likely comprise a major segment of the Australian cotton crop in 2009-10, is looking particularly impressive in its debut season.

Sicot 71BRF has improved fibre quality and yield over the variety it is replacing Sicot 71BR. It was released to CSD members via a ballot this season – giving most growers the opportunity to try a small area.

CSIRO plant breeder, Dr Greg Constable, said all of the Sicot 71 types have originated from a line developed by Peter Reid in the early 1990’s so they are very similar.

“There are some varying types in there – a little bit of diversity- which has been good for fibre length, so the Sicot 71B, Sicot 71BRF and Sicot 70BRF are much better in length than the other lines in that family.”

He said the trick with the Sicot 71 types is to get that plant size up, right from the early vegetative stage.

“So irrigation is an important one in there. I wouldn’t touch Pix in a Sicot 71 type – whether its BR, BRF or conventional. Likewise, nutrition needs to be right early on – relying on a late side dressing for example may not ensure that you get the right vegetative plant size.

“As far as we’re concerned in the 2-3 years of trialling during the breeding of the Sicot 71BRF and Sicot 70BRF, they are equal in yield or greater than Sicot 71BR.”

CSD Queensland agronomist, John Marshall, said that in CQ there is very little separating crops of both Sicot 71BRF and Sicot 70BRF.

“On the Downs, fruit retention has been very high and this has restricted the vegetative growth of the Sicot 71BRF. It seems those who were able to take advantage of Sicot 71BR to produce high yields are finding Sicot 71BRF is a very similar variety to manage.”

Dave Kelly, CSD Border Rivers agronomist, said Sicot 71BRF crops in the Macintyre and Balonne also have very high fruit retention.

“In the western areas where the temperatures are a bit higher, this has contributed to growers having to work hard to stop it cutting out early. At present, most Sicot 71BRF crops in this area are quite short, but holding very impressive fruit loads with >150 bolls/m not uncommon.

“The use of Pix so far on this variety has been minimal. It’s clear that growers in the warmer areas will have to apply the same rules learnt in the management of Sicot 71BR – be diligent with the first two irrigations in particular to ensure you get a good plant size.”

James Quinn, CSD agronomist in the Gwydir region, said irrigated Sicot 71BRF is holding up well and is looking impressive. “High early season retention has translated to high boll loads as the crop approaches cut-out. Minimal growth regulators have been required as boll load has kept this variety in check.

Rob Eveleigh, CSD agronomist in the Namoi, said Sicot 71BRF crop development is varied depending on planting date and region, but most crops are progressing well. “Many growers are impressed with the exceptionally high fruit numbers recorded in Sicot 71BRF fields.”

Craig Farlow, CSD agronomist in the Southern regions, said Sicot 71BRF got off to a slower than ideal start, but has progressed well, with some crops sitting at approximately 6-7 NAWF with considerable fruit load at present, and in many fields 1st position fruit retention is still above 90%.

Steve Ainsworth, CSD general manager, said Sicot 71BRF has been included in over 40 large scale, replicated variety trials across all regions, including fully irrigated, semi-irrigated and dryland situations.

“We’re going to have a lot of data on this variety and we look forward to sharing that with growers before next season. All our Sicot 71BRF seed crops are looking very good and we envisage having more than enough seed to supply the industry next season.”

Further information: Steve Ainsworth 02 6795 0000 John Marshall 07 46 626050
David Kelly 0428 950021 James Quinn 0428 950028
Rob Eveleigh 02 67 950000 Craig Farlow 0428 950015

February 02, 2009